Tag Archives: story

795. DOPPELGANGER (Learn English with a Short Story)

Learn English with another short story. In fact, this episode contains two stories. Listen until the end for the 2nd one. Repeat after me to practise your pronunciation. Learn some vocabulary & grammar in the second half of the episode, with an explanation of modal verbs of deduction in the past and present. Video version available.

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Episode Transcript

Hello everyone, 

Welcome back to the podcast. How are you doing out there in podcast land? Surviving?

Here’s a new episode. It’s time to do some more English learning with a story. 

In this episode, I’m going to read another short story to you, and use it to teach you some English. 

I recommend that as well as listening to me read the story out loud to you today, that you read this story out loud too, and I will give you a chance to do that by repeating after me. 

We’ll also look at some vocabulary and grammar from the story during the episode. And if you listen until the end, I will tell you another story too. 

That’s all going to come later in the episode. If you’re watching the video version – hello. Don’t forget to like & subscribe.  

If you are listening to the audio version. Click the link in the description to visit the page for this episode where you will be able to read a transcript for the whole things. You’re welcome.

100-Word Stories

Recently I have been looking for short stories to help me teach English, the shorter the better, and I found lots of 100-word stories on several websites. A 100-word story is a story with no more than 100 words.

There are a couple of sites where you can find a lot of these. One site is called https://100wordstory.org/ and the other is https://www.fridayflashfiction.com/ 

Anyone can submit a story to these sites. The stories are then checked by the website editors and then published for everyone to read.

The only rule for the writers, is that the stories have a 100-word limit. I think the minimum is 75 words, but the maximum is 100. So, a story with no more than 100 words.

That’s quite a challenge.

The writers need to be very disciplined. They have to choose their words carefully, and as a result these stories are very minimal and manage to convey descriptions and emotions using only a few words. 

As a teacher of English, I think these stories are great because it gives us compelling and concise samples of English to work with. 

Get the book 

I want to just point out that there is a book full of these very short stories, which you could buy. 

It’s called Nothing Short of 100: Selected tales from 100 Word Story

It is a collection of stories from the https://100wordstory.org/ website. 

There’s a Kindle version or a print version. 

It is published by OUTPOST 19 and it was put together by the team behind the website, including Grant Faulkner, Lynn Mundell and Joshua Michael Stewart. 

It is available for you to purchase and I recommend it if you are looking for bite size stories to use for learning or teaching English. 

I also recommend visiting https://100wordstory.org/ and www.fridayflashfiction.com where you can find absolutely loads of stories like this with new ones arriving each week.

Today’s story

OK so let’s start with a story which I’ve selected from the Nothing Short of 100 book.

This story is called DOPPELGÄNGER 

By the way, we don’t usually use an umlaut in English →  ä  

What is a doppleganger?

A doppelganger is someone who looks exactly like someone else, but it’s creepy and scary, like a ghostly copy of someone.

I think the word has its origins in German (hence the umlaut in the title), and translates directly as “double goer”. So your doppelganger is your double, a copy of you, who looks exactly like you and who goes around, walking the earth.

In my case, that would be Luka Modric, the Croatian footballer. That’s what people say anyway, that Luka Modric is my doppelganger. 

Yes, he is my doppelganger. I’m not his doppelganger, ok? He’s my doppelganger. I was here first!

We do use the word in conversational English.

We say things like “Oh, I saw your doppelganger in the street today!” (meaning, “I saw someone who looked just like you”)
or “It’s amazing, he’s your complete doppelganger!” etc. 

I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced that. Has it ever happened to you? Have you ever seen someone who looks exactly like someone you know? Have you ever done a double take and been confused for a split second? Has anyone told you that they’d seen your doppelganger?

OK, I’m now going to read the story

Just one question 👇

  • How did the person feel at the end of the story? Why? 

Answer: She felt shocked, upset, sad, surprised and possibly heartbroken. Maybe she couldn’t believe her eyes, because she saw her lover with another woman, or she saw someone who looked exactly like her lover with another woman.

Listen to the episode to hear me summarise and explain the story.

Let me give my comments and explanations, line by line (listen to get my comments)

DOPPELGÄNGER
I almost didn’t see the you who wasn’t you.
I was walking past the outdoor tables of the French café, and just at the last second, I caught a familiar hand gesture, and looked again. 
It couldn’t have been you though, my love, because your other hand was clasping the hand of the woman opposite.
Your heads were too close.
She was laughing, that abandoned laughing you do when you’re totally in the moment, totally in love.
I walked on, heels tapping out a staccato rhythm, as I no longer wanted to look at the you who wasn’t you.

Possible interpretations

  • It was her husband/boyfriend, cheating on her, having an affair with another woman.
  • It wasn’t her husband/boyfriend. It was just someone who looked like him, but it still disturbed her because she’s terrified that he could cheat on her.
  • It was her ex, someone she is still in love with. They’re not together any more. He’s moved on, but she hasn’t.
  • It was a guy who she loves but they’re not together and she can’t bear the fact that he’s with someone else.
  • Perhaps she lost her husband (he died) and she just saw someone who reminded her of him.
  • Something else?

Language Analysis

Vocabulary & Grammar

  • The you who wasn’t you
    (Although you normally takes are/were, it is not plural, and so the relative pronoun who is singular)
  • Just at the last second
    • on time
    • in time
  • Familiar
  • A gesture
  • To catch (a look at) something (to get a glimpse of something)
  • …though
  • Clasping her hand
  • Abandoned laughing
  • To be totally in the moment
  • To walk on
  • Heels
  • Tapping
  • A staccato rhythm
  • It couldn’t have been you, my love 👇

Modal Verbs of Deduction

Present

Who is that?

I’m sure/certain it’s DaveIt must be Dave
It’s possible (that) it’s Dave-not sureIt could be DaveIt might be DaveIt may be Dave
It’s impossible (that) it’s DaveIt can’t be DaveIt couldn’t be Dave

Past

Who was that?

I’m sure/certain it was DaveIt must have been Dave
It’s possible (that) it was Dave-not sureIt could have been DaveIt might have been DaveIt may have been Dave
It’s impossible (that) it was DaveIt can’t have been DaveIt couldn’t have been Dave

Pronunciation

  • Repeat the story after me, line by line.
  • Try to say each line with no pauses between words.
  • Notice which word has the main emphasis (stress) in each line.
  • Don’t sound like a robot! 🤖

DOPPELGÄNGER

I almost didn’t see the you who wasn’t you.

I was walking past the outdoor tables of the French café,

and just at the last second,

I caught a familiar hand gesture,

and looked again.

It couldn’t have been you though, my love,

because your other hand
was clasping the hand of the woman opposite.

Your heads were too close.

She was laughing,

that abandoned laughing you do when you’re totally in the moment,

totally in love.

I walked on,

heels
tapping out a staccato rhythm,

as I no longer wanted to look
at the you 

who wasn’t you.


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How about another story?

We’re not finished yet. 

I’m going to read you another story. This one is also about a doppelganger.

I’ll just read the story to you, and then I’m going to do language work in a premium episode which is coming soon to the premium subscription. 

OK, I am trying to persuade you to sign up to my premium subscription, but I think it’s worth it, and if you do you’ll be supporting the podcast. No pressure though. 

If you don’t want to sign up or you can’t, no worries.

I’m still going to read the story to you in this free episode, now. 

I hope you enjoy it. 

I’ll quickly summarise it at the end (in case you don’t understand), but I’ll do the detailed language teaching in premium series, coming soon.

Story 2

Doppelganger, by Sue Clayton 

From → www.FridayFlashFiction.com and adapted slightly by me. 

“This book says everyone has a doppelganger, a mirror image, and if you meet yours face to face, you’ll die.”

Janice, my flatmate, closed the book, finished her tea and toast, and slammed out of the door for her A&E shift at St. Margaret’s hospital just down the road. She loved any kind of fantasy literature, always immersed in some supernatural genre book. Not my cup of tea at all. Give me a good Nordic Noir mystery anytime.

After taking a shower I went to brush my teeth. If you meet your doppelganger face to face you’ll die, my reflection in the bathroom mirror laughed as I recited the words, but they’d begun to worm their subliminal way into my subconscious, waiting to claw their way to the surface and pounce.

One day, a couple of weeks later, I headed for the front door ready to set off into town where I worked at a music store. Doppelganger, I froze as my mind hissed the insidious word. What if I saw me on the train? Or stood behind me in the line at the coffee place? What if I came into the shop to buy a record and had to serve myself? The words shot through my mind. I let go of the door handle as if I had been electrocuted, and phoned in sick.

“Do you fancy a night out at that new wine bar down the street?”
Janice bounced through the front door one afternoon, chirpy as a blue bird, her shift trauma-free for once.

“Not tonight, Janice, I’m still not feeling very good.” The image of my other self perched on a stool at the far end of the bar, possibly raising a toast, was too hard to stomach.

‘You haven’t been outside for ages, Natalie, not even for work…you’ll end up getting fired. What’s going on with you?” Janice pressed.

“I’ll meet my doppelganger and die if I go outside,” I burst into tears, knowing how ridiculous I sounded.

“You know there’s no such thing. You need to get help, Natalie. I’ve got a therapist friend who works at the hospital. I’ll fix you up an appointment.” She wrapped me in a comfort hug.

“You’re booked in for ten o’clock this morning.” Two days later Janice grabbed my arm and pulled me through the front door; I didn’t stand a chance.

“You won’t meet yourself between here and St. Margaret’s.” She smiled reassuringly and we set off down the street.

“Excuse me,” a hand tapped my shoulder as we waited to cross the busy main road. I turned around and my shriek froze the blood of everyone close by, before I stepped backwards off the footpath into the path of an articulated lorry.

“I didn’t mean to frighten her,” tears ran down the anguished face of one of the two men who’d been standing behind me. He was holding a large six-feet square mirror which they were carrying across to the framing workshop across the road. “I just wanted to ask her to step to one side.”

Summary of Story 2

The narrator, let’s call her Sue (although I realised after recording this that she’s actually called Nathalie in the story!) lives with her flatmate Janice. 

One day Janice reads a line from a scary book she’s reading. It says that if you ever meet your doppelganger, you’ll die.

Sue doesn’t usually believe that kind of thing, but the idea gets into her head and as she is leaving the house one day, she suddenly gets scared that she might meet her doppelganger, and die.

So she decides to stay at home.

In fact she keeps staying at home, every day. The idea of meeting her doppelganger has made her too terrified to leave the house.

Janice gets worried about Sue and arranges for her to meet a therapist, and assures Sue that nothing can happen to her on the way.

Sue agrees to leave the house, but at the main road someone taps her on the shoulder.

Sue turns around and sees her own reflection.

The man who tapped her on the shoulder was trying to carry a mirror across the road.

He wanted to ask her to step to one side, to make space.

But Sue turned around and saw her doppelganger – her reflection in the mirror and screamed!

Then she stepped back, into the road, and was hit by a large lorry.


That’s the end of the episode, but check out LEP Premium.

I’m going to do a premium episode all about this second doppelganger story. 

All the vocabulary (with a memory test), some grammar, some pronunciation practice.

I’ll go through the vocabulary and some grammar and I’ll do some pronunciation practice with it too, just like I did with the 100-word story.

778. [1/2] Sir Gawain and The Green Knight (with Dad)

A conversation with my dad about a great medieval adventure story originally written in middle English and updated and translated into modern English by Simon Armitage. Dad talks about the origin of this story, its connection to the history of the English language, and the poetic devices used in the writing. In the second half I read a summarised version of the story and some verses from Armitage’s modernised version.

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Introduction Script

Hello there, how are you? Hope you’re well. Just before we start – a quick bit of news. 

So, my full time teaching schedule at school has ended now and I have about 1 week to work on LEP content, and upload it before the August summer holiday begins. I’m not sure if I will be able to work during August, because “hello” it’s holiday season – my daughter is off school, we’re going on holiday in France and in the UK, and I might not bring my computer with me and so on. So I might upload loads of content this week, which you can listen to during the summer. I don’t want to overload you, but also I don’t want to underload you (is that a word). 

In any case, it’ll be like waiting for a bus again – you wait ages and then 3 come at the same time. This includes premium content. An update about LEP Premium: New episodes will be arriving very soon, including P35 part 2, which is full of pronunciation practice. As you may know, LEP Premimum is still in a transition from Libsyn to Acast and during this time I can’t upload episodes because of a slight issue relating to transferring 6 and 12 month subscriptions, but this is going to be solved very soon, and as soon as it is solved, new premium content will arrive. If you are a premium subscriber on Libsyn (the old system) with a 6 or 12 month subscription, and you’re keen to move to Acast – I will be contacting you soon with a solution to the situation. Just hold on. If you don’t understand what’s happening, check my website for updates. But mainly – just hold on. 

If you are new to LEP Premium, you can go ahead and and sign up through Acast+ – it’s www.teacherluke.co.uk/premium or click the link in the description. If you do that you will be supporting this whole project and in return you will get access to all the LEP Premium episodes (well over 100 vocabulary, pronunciation and grammar practice lessons) PDFs, videos and also you get ad-free episodes of LEP. If you’re wondering how it all works, have a look at my website where you will find all the information you need, including how to access the PDFs and how to add LEP Premium episodes to your podcasting app of choice. 

— Jingle — 

Hello everyone,

In this episode, my dad is back, but it’s not the Rick Thompson Report, so no politics this time. Instead we’re doing an episode that we have been hoping to do since Christmas last year. 

In this one, Dad is going to tell us about an old story from the Arthurian legends – that’s a set of stories about the mythical King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. British legends and folklore. 

The story we’re talking about is in the form of a poem called Sir Gawain & The Green Knight. This long poem was probably first written down in the 14th century by an unknown poet, but the story is probably much older than that, and part of a long oral storytelling tradition.

What Dad is going to do is describe the significance of this story, give us a summary of the plot and also he will make some comments about the history of the English language, and the rhythmic and rhyming style used in the original 14th century version, which was written in what we now call middle English. My dad studied English literature at university in the 1960s and this was one of the texts that he studied, and so he knows it quite well. 

Recently the old 14th century version of this poem was updated by a modern poet called Simon Armitage (the current poet laureate in the UK). Armitage has managed to write a modern version of this poem using modern English vocabulary, but it retains many of the linguistic and poetic devices of the original, including certain forms of rhyme and rhythm that made the poem so effective.

My dad got that version for Christmas and that’s what inspired us to do this episode.

It should be interesting for you to hear the story, hear my dad’s comments about it and learn how this fits into the history of the English language.

In the second half of the episode I will read you a summarised version of the full story just to make sure you get to hear an uninterrupted version, plus I will read out a few verses of the Simon Armitage version of them poem, again, to give you a good chance to hear some the rhythm and rhyme of it uninterrupted.

So, if you are sitting comfortably, let’s begin. 


Ending Script

Well, how was that?

You might be keen to hear more of the story and to hear more samples of the poem. That’s what I’d like to do in this ending part.

I’m going to do a couple of readings for you now.

I thought it would be useful for you to hear a brief version of the whole story, just to give you an overview and to make sure you’ve understood the whole thing. Then I’ll read a few of verses from the Simon Armitage version, in order to give you a flavour of the poetry with its distinctive style: wonderfully descriptive language and a particular rhythm, which was originally used in the 14th century version, as my dad described. 

A Summary of the Story

This is a version of the story, from a TED Ed video by Dan Kwartler.

Credit for this version goes to Dan Kwartler and there’s an animated version of it here https://youtu.be/SaQImmPev2o I have adapted this version slightly.

This doesn’t have the rhythmic style of the original poem, or the richly descriptive language. 

But it does tell the story quite briefly. I’m not going to explain all the words here. I might do that in part 2 (If there is a part 2).

It was Christmas time in Camelot 

and King Arthur was throwing a party.

The entire court was invited, 

except for the evil sorceress Morgan le Fay.

The food and drink flowed freely.

But in the midst of all the revelry, 

the castle doors suddenly split open.

A tall knight riding an emerald horse 

burst into the room,

stunning the court into silence.

He was green from head to toe, 

including his skin, hair and clothes. 

Even his horse was green.

Then, in a deep bellowing voice, he proposed a game.

The Green Knight declared that he would allow

the bravest warrior present 

to attack him with his own axe.

If they could strike him down, they would win his powerful weapon.

However, the knight would be allowed to return that blow

in one year and one day.

Arthur and his knights were baffled.

No man could survive such a strike.

How would the Green Knight be able to return the blow in a year’s time?

The Green Knight began to mock their leader’s hesitance,

and Arthur stood up to defend his honour.

But as soon as he gripped the axe, 

another person leapt up to take his place.

It was Arthur’s nephew, 

Sir Gawain, 

who decided he could not let the king be drawn into such a macabre game.

Keen to prove himself as a worthy hero, 

Sir Gawain took the weapon instead.

The Green Knight knelt down to receive the blow from the axe, 

even moving his hair away to expose the naked green skin of his neck.

With one swift strike, Sir Gawain beheaded the knight.

But the moment his skull hit the ground, it began to laugh.

The Green Knight bent down,

collected his head 

and mounted his horse.

As he rode off, 

his severed head reminded Gawain of their contract

and told him to seek the Green Chapel 

one year and one day from that moment.

In the months that followed, Gawain tried to forget this bizarre vision.

But despite the strangeness of the knight’s game,

Sir Gawain was determined to act honourably and fulfil his promise.

When the following winter approached, 

he set out —

enduring foul weather 

and encounters with dangerous beasts

in his quest to find the mysterious Green Chapel.

Finally, on Christmas Eve, he saw a shimmering castle on the horizon.

The castle’s lord and lady were thrilled to help such an honourable guest,

and informed him that the Green Chapel was only a short ride away.

They implored Gawain to rest at their home until his meeting with the Green Knight.

Thrilled at this news, Gawain happily accepted their offer.

However, in exchange for this hospitality,

the lord made a strange request.

Over the next three days, he would go hunting 

and every night he would share whatever he caught with Gawain.

In return, Gawain must give him whatever he’d gained during his day at the castle.

At first, Gawain was perplexed by these strange terms.

But the lord’s meaning became quite clear the next day,

when his wife tried to seduce Gawain.

To rebuff the lady’s advances without offending her honour,

Gawain allowed one kiss —

which he then passed on to her husband in exchange for a slain deer.

The next day, Gawain allowed two kisses, 

which he gave to the lord for a dead boar.

But on the third day, 

the lady offered more than just three kisses.

She presented a magical sash that would protect Gawain

from the Green Knight’s blade.

Gawain accepted immediately, 

but that evening, 

when the lord returned,

Gawain offered only three kisses and did not mention the enchanted gift which he had received.

The next morning, 

Gawain rode out to the Green Chapel—

a simple mound of earth

where the Green Knight was waiting and ominously sharpening his axe.

With the sash’s protection, 

Gawain approached stoically —

determined to honour his agreement.

He bowed his head for the deadly blow.

He flinched twice, 

but then with a massive swing,

the Green Knight cut Gawain’s neck —

but inflicted nothing more than a flesh wound.

Once more, Gawain was bewildered.

Why hadn’t the sash protected him?

And why hadn’t the knight killed him?

Bursting into laughter, 

the Green Knight revealed himself to be the castle’s lord,

and that he’d been working with the sorcoress Morgan Le Fay

to test the honour and bravery of Arthur’s knights.

He was impressed with Gawain’s behavior,

and he’d planned to spare his neck entirely —

until Gawain concealed the sash, 

and this is when the Green Knight chose to inflict the fleshwound upon him.

Filled with shame, Gawain returned to Camelot.

But to his surprise, his companions absolved him of blame

and celebrated his valor.

Struggling to understand this strange journey,

it seemed to Gawain that perhaps the whole world was playing a game —

with rules more wild and bewildering than any man could understand.

Ok, so that’s the story. 

It’s a bit confusing and mysterious.

(Luke gives a quick summary again)

Reading Verses from the Simon Armitage version of Sir Gawain and The Green Knight

What you don’t get from that story summary (above) is the beautiful language.

  • Wonderfully descriptive vocabulary
  • Alliteration (the repetition of rhyming consonant sounds at the start of words)
  • The “Bob and Wheel” (a rhythmic device which ends each verse)

There are some extracts from the Simon Armitage version available in the preview of the book on Amazon (other bookshops are available) 

Let me read a couple of those initial pages. 

The way the Armitage version of this poem is presented is that it gives one page of the modernised version, and then on the next page you have the equivalent original text, so you can compare them side by side. 

I won’t read any of the original text because the English is so old fashioned that I frankly wouldn’t be able to pronounce it all. And before you fall out of your chair in disbelief that I don’t know my own language – hardly anyone is able to pronounce sentences written in middle English. Only academic experts can do that, and a lot of them disagree about how middle English should be pronounced. So, that’s not for us. Middle English is almost like another language, so there’s no need for me to read it to you. 

The modern version of this poem on the other hand, is much more appropriate for us, and Simon Armitage has done a fantastic job because as my dad said, his version of the poem manages to keep the same alliteration, the same rhythm, and the bob & wheel –  that structural device where after a few lines the verse comes to an end with a distinctive two syllable break (the bob) and then four lines which follow it (the wheel). You’ll have a chance to listen to examples of that again in a moment.

Simon Armitage, while managing to keep a lot of these literary and poetic devices from the original poem, has updated it using normal modern English words. So this is still written in a literary and poetic style, but these are words that are still regularly used by people today, more or less.

Listen carefully to the rhythm and sounds of this and you’ll see what I mean.

I’m now going to read the first few verses to you. This is very rich in terms of language. Again, I am not going to stop and explain everything here, or analyse the text. I’m just going to read it to you. 

I do plan to do another separate episode in which I just read out some of these verses again and then break them down for language. Hopefully I will be able to make a video version of that too. Perhaps it will be the next episode. We will see. If not, I will do my best to get it done at a later date.

But now, for your listening pleasure, have a listen to this.

Extracts from Sir Gawain & The Green Knight, by Simon Armitage.

There is no script for the verses, but you can check the Amazon page for this book, where you can preview the first pages of the book, including many of the lines I’m reading here.

What do you think? Leave your comments below 👇

P35 [1/2] StoryTime: Learn English with Stories (free LEP Premium Sample) THE BEAR STORY

This is a free sample of LEP Premium, available for everyone. In this episode I’ll tell you about my technique for learning English with stories and transcripts, with full details about how to improve your English with my stories. Then I’ll tell you a story about a time I had an encounter with a bear, and then I’ll give you some language practice exercises for your grammar and vocabulary, and some pronunciation drills to let you repeat after me. Full PDF transcript available + video version available too.

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774. Learn English with a Scary Story (Camp Stabbiwaka by Peter Carlson)

Listen to Luke reading a text adventure story set in a summer camp. You can read the story at the same time as you listen, or just relax and have fun following this action packed horror story, and read do text adventure later. Includes some vocabulary explanations, differences between British & American English and some very dodgy jokes. Video version available.

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739. The Escaped Man by CT Platt (Learn English with Short Stories)

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.

Audio Version

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Introduction Transcript & Links

Hello listeners and video viewers,

It’s time to do another story on the podcast. This time I’m going to be reading a story called The Escaped Man which was written by CT Platt and is presented on the Commaful website.

Commaful.com is a website where you can find short stories, fan fiction and other reading texts and it’s all presented in quite a nice and easy-to-read format.

I’m going to read the story to you once and all you have to do is follow it, and hopefully enjoy it. I have a couple of questions for you to help you stay focused on your listening.

Then I’ll read through the story again and break it down line by line, explaining, pointing out and teaching you bits of vocabulary and grammar as I go.

Learning English through stories is a great idea and tends to work because it places language in a vivid context and is generally quite entertaining and fun.

So listen to the story and then let me break all the language down for you bit by bit.

Just before I read the story, here are a couple of questions for you.

Where does the story take place? How do you know?
Is this American English or British English? How do you know?
What is going to happen next?

OK, let’s start.

https://commaful.com/play/lisa/the-escaped-man/

Full Script of the Story

https://www.wattpad.com/543021670-suspense-stories-the-escaped-man-c-t-platt-2017

707. [2/2] Let’s Play Another Text Adventure Game – “Zombolocaust” by Peter Carlson

Continuing the text adventure game about the zombie apocalypse from episode 706, with text on the screen so you can read with me while you listen. Video version available. Play the game with me – follow the links below. [Part 2 of 2] Listen to part 1 first!

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AUDIO VERSION

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VIDEO VERSION

Works best on full-screen mode. Don’t forget to like & subscribe folks! 👍

Links

Play “Zombolocaust” by Peter Carlson https://textadventures.co.uk/games/view/5kjlubyvzuitox6z52xipq/zombolocaust

Text Adventures website http://www.textadventures.co.uk

Part 1 of this episode https://wp.me/p4IuUx-oBr

Part 1 on YouTube

706. [1/2] Let’s Play Another Text Adventure Game – “Zombolocaust” by Peter Carlson

Playing a text adventure game about the zombie apocalypse, with text on the screen so you can read with me while you listen. Video version available. Play the game with me – follow the links below.

AUDIO VERSION

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VIDEO VERSION

Works best on full-screen mode. Don’t forget to like & subscribe 👍

Links

Play “Zombolocaust” by Peter Carlson https://textadventures.co.uk/games/view/5kjlubyvzuitox6z52xipq/zombolocaust

Text Adventures website http://www.textadventures.co.uk

Part 2 will be available here https://wp.me/p4IuUx-oBv

Notes (used at the start of the episode)

Let’s Play Another Text Adventure Game – Zombie Survival

Let’s just have some fun in this episode, and also work on your English a bit.

I’m going to play another text adventure game.

Read the text and make decisions to progress through the game.

This is good for your English because you can practise your listening and reading, and there’s bound to be some vocabulary that you can pick up too.

This works best if you can read the text that I’m reading too, either by visiting the text adventures website or by watching the video version of this.

I’ll give you some learning tips in a second.

As well as the audio version of this, there is a video version on YouTube and the episode page on teacherluke.co.uk

I’m sharing my screen, so you can see the text that I’m reading.

I’ll try to be clear and to explain things as we go, so this should also work as an audio episode.

textadventures.co.uk – “Zombolocaust” by Peter Carlson

Previous episodes like this in the episode archive at teacherluke.co.uk (search for episodes 338, 339, 425, 426, 612, 613, 614)

Peter Carlson emailed me once and said he was OK for me to do more of his games on the podcast. Nice one Peter 👍

COVID-19 is real (but this game isn’t)

We’re going to try to survive a zombie apocalypse

but there’s a real pandemic happening outside (have you noticed?)

So – wash your hands! Wear your mask! Be careful, good luck! 

We will get through this.

The COVID-19 pandemic is serious, but we still have to have fun.

Luckily, it’s not as bad as a zombie apocalypse.

Link for this game https://textadventures.co.uk/games/view/5kjlubyvzuitox6z52xipq/zombolocaust 

How to use this episode (your options)

  1. Just listen and try to understand (audio only)
  2. Watch the video and read the text with me (YouTube)
  3. Listen to the audio and follow the story on textadventures.co.uk
  4. Listen to the audio and do the text adventure later

Learning Tips

  • Check words and phrases in dictionaries like collinsdictionary.com 
  • Just try to follow the story and work things out from context.
  • Shadowing – repeat after me, with and without the text.
  • But mainly – just enjoy following the story with me.

This might be long, I don’t know! I’ve never played the story before. (It’s two episodes. 1 hour each)

I might split it into parts.

I’m signed in to textadventures.co.uk and I can save my progress, so I can pause and continue later, perhaps in other parts. 

614. Another Murder Mystery Detective Story (Part 3)

Here’s the conclusion of this online murder mystery text adventure game. Vocabulary is reviewed at the end. Video available for premium subscribers.


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Episode notes and transcriptions

Hello listeners and welcome to episode 614. In this episode I’m going to continue reading through this online text adventure that I started in episode 612. This should be the 3rd and final part of this murder mystery story.

You have to listen to parts 1 and 2 first before you listen to this. They are episodes 612 and 613. If you don’t listen to them first, none of this will make any sense, ok!

So I’m assuming you’ve heard those two parts.

Let’s just recap the story quickly.

We’re on the hunt for the killers of 3 prominent academics in London 1861. Intelligent and brilliant people keep turning up dead, completely naked and with their hearts torn out.

After lots of investigation by us (a brilliant Holmes-style detective) and our partner Mardler, we’ve worked out that the killings have been done by a weird religious cult that worships King Cobras and likes to eat the hearts of people as a way of absorbing their intelligence. So they’ve been preying on academics, scientists, surgeons, historians and so on.

We’ve managed to catch two of the principle murderers – a wealthy member of the upper-classes, a woman posing as a nurse in local hospital and now we are on the tracks of the main bad guy, an old man by the name of Lynch who we suspect is currently holding a French intellectual hostage with a plan to murder him and eat his heart in the next few hours. Earlier in the story we got shot and had to jump out of a window so we are nursing an injury and not at our full strength.

We’ve managed to track down Lynch to a house outside London and now we are about to enter the house and hopefully save the life of the French man and bring Lynch to justice. Let’s see what happens next and what kind of score I’m going to get at the end of this game!

I have a feeling that we’re getting close to the end of the story, based on how it’s going. I reckon this should be finished in the next 15-30 minutes, but we will see. If there is time in this episode I will go through a list of vocabulary items that I’ve picked up from the story.

By the way, there are videos for episodes 612, 613 and hopefully this one available for Premium subscribers. You can see me reading through the story, and there are also some bonus extras including a song in 613 part 2. Sign up to LEP premium at teacherluke.co.uk/premium

Right, let’s carry on then!

Word list

  • an acclaimed historian
  • the odour of varnish
  • a furrowed brow
  • a loner
  • Julian chuckles
  • I thought I had you for a minute
  • a raving lunatic
  • a bookmark
  • bags under your eyes
  • confident footsteps
  • a mutilated corpse
  • gutted like an animal
  • She has blisters on her left fingertips from the strings
  • Gray rummages through his desk drawer for a moment
  • Marilyn is taken aback
  • Marilyn hastily digs through her bag
  • her hand returns clutching two ticket stubs
  • This is a pretty good alibi, assuming we can hear from some witnesses that confirm her whereabouts
  • you don’t rule her out as a suspect entirely just yet
  • birch tree pollen
  • They got into a violent scuffle
  • scraping your palms on the hard road
  • You stumble back onto your feet and catch up with Mardler
  • sweat forming on your brow
  • sprint across the road
  • tripping on a discarded piece of garbage
  • Dilated pupils, bloody nose, hoarse voice
  • lurking at Hollowleaf Hospital, he’s trying to score some drugs
  • Dr Yates slumps down on the ground, defeated
  • Another dead end!
  • footprints on the floor
  • dried mud
  • following the faint footprints
  • a fist
  • a bruise on Julian’s face
  • The floorboards creak noisily as you walk over them
  • you tackle him to the ground
  • Most of the doctors and nurses have gone home for the night, but a few stragglers are left caring for the sick and wounded.
  • You wince in pain.
  • Your kneecap and head are throbbing.
  • a cane
  • Sorry I have to ambush you like this
  • gears turning
  • Crisp morning air fills your nostrils
  • You feel winded by the time you reach Palomer’s door
  • a shard of glass
  • Mardler ponders your theory.
  • He was brushing up on German translations when we saw him last
  • You limp into the shop
  • Quentin Lynch was cold and out of breath
  • Discerning detective

Previous detective episodes

338. A Murder Mystery Detective Story (Part 1 of 2) Text Adventure

339. A Murder Mystery Detective Story (Part 2)

425. Thompson, Taylor & Minogue: Victorian Detectives (Part 1) with Amber & Paul

426. Thompson, Taylor & Minogue: Victorian Detectives (Part 2) with Amber & Paul

612. Another Murder Mystery Detective Story (Part 1)

613. Another Murder Mystery Detective Story (Part 2)

613. Another Murder Mystery Detective Story (Part 2)

Join Luke as we continue to work through this mystery story following a serial killer through the streets of Victorian London. Read the story and play the text adventure game as you listen.


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Episode notes and transcriptions

Here is part 2 of this new murder mystery detective story.

You should listen to part 1 of this first! Click here for part 1.

In this episode I’m reading through an online text adventure from www.textadventures.co.uk

This one is Victorian Detective 3, written by Peter Carlson.

Listen and enjoy the story and read along with me if you like.

Here’s the link http://textadventures.co.uk/games/view/itwcu1_epk2b-azzulq6cw/victorian-detective-3

Let’s continue the story!

Word list coming in part 3…

Previous detective episodes

338. A Murder Mystery Detective Story (Part 1 of 2) Text Adventure

339. A Murder Mystery Detective Story (Part 2)

425. Thompson, Taylor & Minogue: Victorian Detectives (Part 1) with Amber & Paul

426. Thompson, Taylor & Minogue: Victorian Detectives (Part 2) with Amber & Paul

612. Another Murder Mystery Detective Story (Part 1)

612. Another Murder Mystery Detective Story (Part 1)

Listen to Luke investigating a ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ detective story and read along if you like! Learn English in fun ways with stories on Luke’s English Podcast. Video available for premium subscribers.


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Video versions are now available free on YouTube (after 18 months in the premium subscription)

Sign up to LEP Premium for exclusive content https://www.teacherluke.co.uk/premium

Episode notes and transcriptions

Hello folks and welcome to the podcast.

In this one I’m going to go through another online text adventure in order to try to solve a murder mystery set in Victorian London.

It’s been a while since I did one of these on the podcast.

Several times in the past I have read through online detective adventure stories written by Peter Carlson and available at textadventures.co.uk

There were episodes 338 & 339 (A Murder Mystery Detective Story) and episodes 425 and 426 (Victorian Detectives) in which I was joined by Amber in Paul. (links at the bottom)

These are based on stories and text adventures that you can find at textadventures.co.uk I usually use the ones done by Peter Carlson and in fact after recording the first one, Peter got in touch with me to tell me that he liked the way I did it and was welcome to use his other stories. So, kudos to Peter for being behind us on this one.

In the first episode I read through the story entitled Victorian Detective, and then second one was the sequel “Victorian Detective 2” and now we are on to the third instalment of the series, that’s right it’s “Victorian Detective 3”.

So the idea behind these text adventures is that you read through some text on a webpage and there are certain words highlighted which you can click on for extra information and every now and then you have to make a decision which can affect the way the story turns out. Each decision relies on your observational skills and your reading of the information provided. You have to be like a Sherlock Holmes style detective, or a text detective if you will, to work out the right choices based on the evidence you’ve read.

This sort of thing is great for learning English because you can do tons of reading with very specific goals each time. It’s online so you can check out new words when you come across them and the fact that you’re part of the story makes it extra engaging. You can also read along with me as I play the game, or play it on your own later. And if you do that, consider leaving a comment or review at textadvantures.co.uk thanking Peter Carlson for his work.

You can check out loads of these games at textadventures.co.uk and I’ll let you explore them in your own time.

Right, so what about Victorian Detective 3?

In this series we play the part of a brilliant detective who has skills similar to those of Sherlock Holmes. You have perfect memory, demonstrated by the fact that you can re-read any text so far. Your super fast decision making ability is represented by the unlimited time we have to make our choices in the game. And our vast knowledge is represented by the internet and we are encouraged to google any things we don’t know about.

As a detective we have a police partner that we work with called Mardler. He’s a bit like the Lestrade character in Sherlock Holmes in that he is a police officer who often gets things wrong and is a bit competitive with you. So Mardler is our partner.

So here’s how it’s going to go.

I’ll read through each section and read all the other peripheral info that you get by clicking on different words. I’ll explain things as we go if I think it’s all getting complicated. I’ll invite you to think about the right option each time and if you want you can read along with me by following the link on the website.

http://textadventures.co.uk/games/view/itwcu1_epk2b-azzulq6cw/victorian-detective-3

I have no idea how long this will take! It might be several episodes, we’ll see. I haven’t done the game before so I don’t know how long it will last. In this episode I think I’ll go for about an hour and then I’ll find a good place to pause the story. Some kind of cliffhanger would be good.

Your task is just to try and keep up with the story, perhaps think about each decision too. If I make a mistake at any point, jump into the comment section and explain your thoughts.

But mainly, just try to follow the story and I hope you find it interesting and enjoyable as a way to learn English through listening.

I’m slightly concerned that my reading of texts might distance you from the story slightly. I really want you to concentrate on imagining the surroundings of each scene. It helps if you really visualise each situation as you listen to it. Use any descriptive language you can find to help you paint a visual image of what you’re hearing in the story. This can make a big difference to your ability to keep up and to stay involved all the way through.

So for this story we’re in London in 1861. Victoria is on the throne. The American Civil War is breaking out in the USA. London is probably quite a dirty, smokey, foggy sort of place with some very upmarket areas and also some slums. People used horses and horse-drawn carriages to get around and do things. It’s the world of Sherlock Holmes basically.

Right, so without any further ado, let’s begin the story.

There’s a little bit of chess at the beginning and I admit that I’ve done this several times to get the right sequence of moves. QUEEN – PAWN – PAWN

Also, as we go through I’m picking up or losing points based on my decisions. I think it’s not possible to die in the game, but the outcome might be different and your score can be different each time.

http://textadventures.co.uk/games/view/itwcu1_epk2b-azzulq6cw/victorian-detective-3

Previous detective episodes

338. A Murder Mystery Detective Story (Part 1 of 2) Text Adventure

339. A Murder Mystery Detective Story (Part 2)

425. Thompson, Taylor & Minogue: Victorian Detectives (Part 1) with Amber & Paul

426. Thompson, Taylor & Minogue: Victorian Detectives (Part 2) with Amber & Paul

Word list coming in part 3…