Sunday, 4 August 2013

Do British people still go speed dating?

1st kathmandu speed dating night posters

Yes they do!

Some interesting vocabulary

gimmicky - 
musical chairs and snap - children's party games
nosey - interested in other people's business
bilge - nonsense, rubbish
a blast - a fun experience
fazed - bothered

Note: This article is written in an informal way, so there is quite a lot of slang and some expressions which is only suitable for very advanced speakers. Don't worry about understanding everything in the article, just get a sense of what her experience was like.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Which podcasts can I listen to?

This is a list of podcasts designed for English language learners, which is taken from Sandy Millin's blog (with her permission). If you'd like to read more about podcasts, read Sandy's full blog post where she explains what podcasts are, how they work, how you can listen to them, and more examples:

If you are studying for IELTS, you will find also this list useful:

Five iPods


The BBC Learning English page has a range of podcasts designed for English learners of all levels. Each podcast can be downloaded and also has a tapescript so you can read while you listen.
  • The English we speak is a series of very short 2-3 minute episodes, each looking at one phrase in English.
  • Words in the news introduces vocabulary based on up-to-date news stories. News English Extra looks at the use of words and phrases which often appear in the news.
  • Ask about English podcasts answer questions from learners about confusing parts of English. Grammar Challenge helps you with difficult areas of English grammar.
  • How to… gives you instructions on how to do lots of different things in English, like congratulate people or complain about something.
  • Keep your English up-to-date helps you to understand words which have recently entered the English language.
  • Express English asks short questions to Londoners. You can hear their answers, then add your own.
  • 6 minute English is like a podcast magazine. Each week, the presenters talk about one topic and teach you vocabulary to help you discuss it too.
The British Council also have various podcasts designed for English learners.
  • Elementary Podcasts is designed for elementary learners. It also has activities to help you practise the vocabulary.
  • Big City Small World is a story about a group of young people living in London.
  • Word on the Street looks at the lives of young British people.
  • The Professionals podcasts are designed to help you improve your English for your career and at work.
Other podcasts for English learners include:
  • Listen to English has new podcasts every week, each with a transcript and some linked activities. You can listen by clicking the arrow > at the top of the blogpost, or go to the bottom of the post and click ‘Download’.
  • Podcasts in English and ESLpod: you can listen to the podcasts for free, but you need to pay if you want to read the transcripts or get activities to do with the podcasts.
  • St. George International podcasts: conversations between real English speakers about lots of different aspects of life in the UK.

How do you spell verbs in the past simple?

spelling with stamps
How you spell verbs in the past simple depends on the sequence of letters. For a full explanation, visit:

What are state verbs?

Thinking RFID
From wikipedia:

"A stative verb is one that describes a state of being, in contrast to a dynamic verb which describes an action. The difference can be categorised by saying that stative verbs are static or unchanging throughout their entire duration, whereas dynamic verbs describe a process that changes over time. Many languages distinguish between these two types in terms of how they can be used grammatically."

For more information and practice, go to: