Episode 57: Islands

Do you live on an island? Have you ever visited one or would you like to? If you have answered yes to any of these questions then this episode is for you! As Dan lives on an island and Jennifer is staying on one at the moment, we thought we would take the opportunity to discuss all things islands. What’s it like living or staying on one? Which island would we most like to visit and much more is covered in our chat. Stay tuned until the end because you can learn all about a silent letter in the language focus. Enjoy!

Vocabulary & English Expressions: (see the full list in our free episode guide!)

to my mind - in my opinion

stark contrast - exactly opposite of

to a t - 

downtown -

Language Focus: Asking Questions (see the full list in our free episode guide!)

Here are the words from today’s language focus.

Island

Isle

Aisle

Rendez vous

Let’s Connect!

We want to hear from you!

You can answer the following question:

What’s your favourite animal? What animals do you commonly see where you live?

You can comment below this episode on the blog (www.englishacrossthepond.com/episodes), in the forum (https://www.englishacrossthepond.com/forum), or on Facebook!

Episode 56: Animals

Hello again and welcome to Episode 56. This week we’re talking about something close to both of our hearts - animals. We discuss our pets, the common animals that we see in the US and the UK as well as animals that we are not so keen on. Stay tuned until after the conversation as today’s language focus introduces 5 fabulous animal idioms. Enjoy!

This episode is sponsored by italki

This episode is sponsored by italki, an online language learning platform. You can learn online with real teachers in 1-on-1 personalized lessons which are customized to you, and your learning needs. Our Ponders, YOU, get a buy 1 get 1 special deal, so when you buy your first lesson you get $US 10 for future lessons! It’s a convenient way to connect even more with real language, culture and to practice speaking from the comfort of your own home wherever you are in the world!

 Click the link below to take advantage of this great offer!

 

 

Vocabulary & English Expressions: (see the full list in our free episode guide!)

pound - An animal shelter or pound is a place where stray, lost, abandoned or surrendered animals, mostly dogs and cats, and sometimes sick or wounded wildlife are kept and rehabilitated.

foster families - a family that provides custody or guardianship for children / pets whose parents are dead or unable to look after them.

adopted -

samaritan -

Language Focus: Asking Questions (see the full list in our free episode guide!)

1 to be dressed up like a dog’s dinner -

To be dressed very / too smartly

2 a bear with a sore head -

To be in a bad mood that causes you to treat other people badly

Let’s Connect!

We want to hear from you!

You can answer the following question:

What’s your favourite animal? What animals do you commonly see where you live?

You can comment below this episode on the blog (www.englishacrossthepond.com/episodes), in the forum (https://www.englishacrossthepond.com/forum), or on Facebook!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Episode 55: Questions & Answers

Hellooo and welcome to episode … 55! A few weeks ago we asked you to write to us with any questions you may have and lots of you did just that. In this week’s podcast we answer a lot of them and cover topics including how we first met, the different languages we (try to!) speak, British & American accents and travel plans. That’s a lot, right?! The language focus takes a closer look at the questions you asked. We hope you enjoy the episode :)

Vocabulary & English Expressions: (see the full list in our free episode guide!)

Humble beginnings - Having a low position in society in the early years or stage of one's life

To dust something down - to prepare something for use

A magic wand / A magic bullet - 

Mardy - 

Language Focus: Asking Questions (see the full list in our free episode guide!)

Here are the questions from today’s podcast. Can you use them in your English language conversations? More examples below each question to help you with ideas :)

Where and how did you meet?

Where did you go to school? How did you get there?

Do you speak any other languages?

What other languages do you speak?

Let’s Connect!

We want to hear from you!

You can answer the following question:

Which country would you most like to visit?

Let us know in our forums!

https://www.englishacrossthepond.com/forum/

You can comment below this episode on the blog (www.englishacrossthepond.com/episodes), in the forum, or on Facebook!

Episode 54: Secrets

Hey! Are you good at keeping a secret? This episode is a big secret so don’t tell anyone about it, okay?! :) Just kidding, the episode itself is not a secret, of course, but it is our topic for the this week. Find out about some of Jennifer and Dan’s secrets and whether or not they are good at keeping them. The language focus features lots of useful idioms and phrases connected to this week’s topic, so make sure you keep listening after the chat. Enjoy!

Vocabulary & English Expressions: (See the full list in our free episode guide!)

To confide in someone - tell someone about a secret or private matter while trusting them not to repeat it to others

Mum’s the word - (as a request or warning) say nothing; do not reveal a secret.

My lips are sealed -

To get something off your chest - 

Language Focus: Expressions with Keep (See the full list in our free episode guide!)

Keep someone in the dark - to not tell someone a secret / the information so they do not know what is happening

To keep something to oneself - to not share some information

To keep something under wraps - 

To keep something a secret - 

Let’s Connect!

We want to hear from you!

You can answer the following question:

Who do you tell your secrets to? Do other people tell you their secrets?

Let us know in our forums!

https://www.englishacrossthepond.com/forum/

You can comment below this episode on the blog (www.englishacrossthepond.com/episodes), in the forum, or on Facebook!

Episode 53: Manners

Welcome to episode 53! This week we are talking all about manners - saying please and thank you, for example. You’ll find out what are some important do’s and don’ts in the UK and the USA - perfect if you’re planning to visit either of our 2 English speaking countries :) After the chat, the language focus is a series of comprehension questions so make sure you pay attention throughout. Enjoy!

This episode is sponsored by italki

 
 

This episode is sponsored by italki, an online language learning platform. You can learn online with real teachers in 1-on-1 personalized lessons which are customized to you, and your learning needs. Our Ponders, YOU, get a buy 1 get 1 special deal, so when you buy your first lesson you get $US 10 for future lessons! It’s a convenient way to connect even more with real language, culture and to practice speaking from the comfort of your own home wherever you are in the world!

 Click the link below to take advantage of this great offer!

 http://go.italki.com/jenanddan_promo

Vocabulary: (See the full list in our free episode guide!)

manners - a person's outward bearing or way of behaving towards others

etiquette - the customary code of polite behaviour in society or among members of a particular profession or group

sincere - 

open doors - 

Language Focus: Comprehension Questions

1. What are both British and American people accused of doing too much?

Saying please and thank you too much

2. When does Jennifer hug people?

When she’s being introduced to a friend of a friend or a friend of a family member

3. In your own words, what strange story happened to Dan in Vietnam?

4. Is Jennifer a good time keeper?

English Expressions: (see the full list & all the definitions in our free episode guide!)

to ring a bell - sound vaguely familiar

airs & graces - an affectation of superiority

to mind your ps & qs - 

to creep someone out - 

Let’s Connect!

We want to hear from you!

You can answer the following question:

What are some examples of good and bad manners in your country? Do you say please and thank you as much as we do in the UK and the USA?

Let us know in our forums!

https://www.englishacrossthepond.com/forum/

You can comment below this episode on the blog (www.englishacrossthepond.com/episodes), in the forum, or on Facebook!

Episode 52: Memories

Happy Birthday to us! This is our 52nd episode and so we are celebrating our first birthday this week - yay! We’re chatting about memories; some of our own personal ones as well as looking back at English Across The Pond over the past 12 months. The language focus is all about gerunds and infinitives so make sure you keep listening right until the end. Enjoy!

Vocabulary : (Get the full list in the free episode guide!)

to be off topic - not relevant to the current discussion

to digress - leave the main subject temporarily in speech or writing

weird - 

a caveat - 

Language Focus: Gerunds & Infinitives - Remember (see the full explanation in the free episode guide!)

Remember is a verb in English that can be followed by both the gerund and the infinitive. However, they have different meanings

Remember + Gerund

To talk about memories

‘I remember playing on my tractor’

English Expressions: get the full list in the free episode guide!)

to bust out (informal) - to take (something) from the place where it is stored so that it can be used

to spark something - trigger, begin, start

a trip down memory lane - 

to spring to mind - 

Let’s Connect!

We want to hear from you!

You can answer the following question:

What’s your earliest memory? What are some of your memories of English across The Pond?

Let us know in our forums!

https://www.englishacrossthepond.com/forum/

You can comment below this episode on the blog (www.englishacrossthepond.com/episodes), in the forum , or on Facebook !

Episode 51: Sleep

This week we are chatting about the wonderful world of … sleep. Find out whether your hosts Jennifer & Dan are getting enough sleep, whether or not they like to have a lie in and even what they dream about! This episode is packed full of useful idioms and expressions related to sleep and they are explained by Dan after the chat. So make sure you stay tuned until the end of the show. Enjoy!

This episode is sponsored by italki

This episode is sponsored by italki, an online language learning platform. You can learn online with real teachers in 1-on-1 personalized lessons which are customized to you, and your learning needs. Our Ponders, YOU, get a buy 1 get 1 special deal, so when you buy your first lesson you get $US 10 for future lessons! It’s a convenient way to connect even more with real language, culture and to practice speaking from the comfort of your own home wherever you are in the world!

Click the link below to take advantage of this great offer!

http://go.italki.com/jenanddan_promo

Vocabulary: (See the full list in our free episode guide!)

Running on empty / Running on fumes - to have exhausted all of one's resources

Sleep deprived - suffering from a lack of sleep

To tick along - 

Beggars can’t be choosers - 

Language Focus: Sleep Phrasal Verbs & Idioms (See the full list in our free episode guide!)

To sleep like a baby - to have great sleep

To sleep in - to sleep for longer than usual 

To lie in - 

To nap / a nap, To cat nap / a cat nap / 40 winks - 

Let’s Connect!

We want to hear from you!

You can answer the following question:

How many hours sleep do you get? Is that enough or would you like more?! What do you do if you can’t get to sleep? Count sheep? Listen to music?

Let us know in our forums!

https://www.englishacrossthepond.com/forum/

You can comment below this episode on the blog (www.englishacrossthepond.com/episodes), in the forum, or on Facebook!

 

Episode 50: Small Talk

Say hello to episode 50! This week’s topic is something that we all do, just about every day - small talk! You’ll be finding out exactly what small talk is all about as well as learning a couple of techniques you can use to improve your informal chatting skills. In the language focus your hosts run through some examples to help you master the art of this important area of social interaction. We hope you enjoy the episode!

Podcast Notes:

For more learning, including the full vocabulary list and definitions (from below), a more complete language focus explanation, and idiom example sentences, download this week's episode guide.

Download The Full Episode

 

This episode is sponsored by italki

 
 

 

This episode is sponsored by italki, an online language learning platform. You can learn online with real teachers in 1-on-1 personalized lessons which are customized to you, and your learning needs. Our Ponders, YOU, get a buy 1 get 1 special deal, so when you buy your first lesson you get $US 10 for future lessons! It’s a convenient way to connect even more with real language, culture and to practice speaking from the comfort of your own home wherever you are in the world!

Click the link below to take advantage of this great offer!

http://go.italki.com/jenanddan_promo

Vocabulary:

Inconsequential - not important or significant

To natter, to chit chat, to shoot the breeze - talk casually, especially on unimportant matters

To incorporate - include

To initiate - 

Siblings - 

Vaguely - 

Language Focus: Small Talk Techniques

Two techniques you can use to help improve your small talking skills;

1 The FORD Method

If you’re not sure what topics are suitable to bring up in a small talk situation then remember F O R D!

FORD is an acronym and the letters stand for;

Family

Occupation (job)

Recreation (hobbies / free time)

Dreams (hopes / ambitions)

These four topics are considered safe and unlikely to cause the other person any anguish ... so now you’ll always have something to chat about - perfect!

2 The ARE Method

Read the second summary in the Episode Guide!

English Expressions: (see the full list & all the definitions in our episode guide!)

Oil the cogs - to make it easier for something to happen

To take the words out of somebody’s mouth - Anticipate what someone is about to say

To spark up a conversation -  

To tread on someone’s toes - 

Let’s Connect!

We want to hear from you! 

You can answer the following question:

Is small talk an important part of your culture? What of things do you usually talk about?

 Let us know in our forums!

https://www.englishacrossthepond.com/forum/

You can comment below this episode on the blog (www.englishacrossthepond.com/episodes), in the forum, or on Facebook!

 

Episode 49: Humour

Hello & welcome to episode 49 which is all about … humour (UK) or humor (US). We are delighted to have a guest with us this week, Luke from Luke’s English podcast, and the 3 of us chat away happily about what makes us laugh. Find out all about stand up comedy and discover our comedy heroes. The language focus this week consists of comprehension questions based on the chat so make sure you pay attention! Happy Listening!

If you enjoyed listening to Luke then you can catch up with him & his podcast by clicking on the image below and visiting his website. We recommend it!

 
 

You can download the guide for this episode right here. If you've already signed up, you can download this week's file with the same password you received in the past!

Podcast Notes:

For more learning, including the full vocabulary list and definitions (from below), a more complete language focus explanation, and idiom example sentences, download this week's episode guide.

Download The Full Episode

 

Vocabulary: (see all the definitions in our episode guide!)

PC / Politically correct - someone who is politically correct believes that language and actions that could be offensive to others, especially those relating to sex and race, should be avoided

To sum up - give a brief summary

To be put on the spot - to cause someone embarrassment or difficulty by forcing them at that moment to answer a difficult question or make an important decision

Crack me up - when someone says something funny and you start laughing uncontrollably you say "YOU CRACK ME UP!"

Contagious - likely to spread to and affect others

Mic - short for microphone

Teeny - very small 

To dry up - to stop talking because you are very nervous

Bona fide - genuine; real

A pun - a joke exploiting the different possible meanings of a word or the fact that there are words which sound alike but have different meanings

Language Focus: Comprehension Questions & Answers (see them all in our episode guide!)

1 What makes Luke laugh? What does Luke find funny?

‘A really dumb, stupid idea but done in a very clever way. Or a very clever idea done in a really stupid way’ And human error

2 What 2 things did Jennifer say she finds funny?

Cats failing & her son.

3 How long has Luke been doing stand up?

4 What helped Luke to become a stand up comedian?

5 Would either Jennifer or Dan like to try stand up comedy?

6 what comedians did Jen, Luke and Dan say were their favourites.

7 Why is comedy so difficult to understand for a non-native speaker?

English Expressions (much more in our episode guide!)

Kick your shoes off, put your feet up - relax

Tickety-boo - to be fine, very well

To throw somebody under the bus - 

To sugar coat something - 

schadenfreude - 

Self-deprecating - 

Let’s Connect!

We want to hear from you!

You can answer the following question:

Why do you think comedy is so difficult to understand for non-native speakers?

Let us know on Facebook or in our forums!

https://www.englishacrossthepond.com/forum/

You can comment below this episode on the blog (www.englishacrossthepond.com/episodes), in the forum, or on Facebook!

Episode 48: How To Study

Hello dear English Across The Pond People (Ponders!) and welcome to Episode 48 which is all about … how to study! Not only is this episode extremely useful for your language learning but we also have a guest on our show today; Jaime Miller from English Success Academy. So there are 3 native speakers chatting about their own experiences of studying as well as providing you with their very own language learning tips. We thought it was a really great podcast and we hope you like it toooo!

 
 

Today’s episode is sponsored by Extempore, The Speaking Practice App.Extempore was created by foreign language teachers to allow instructors and students to practice speaking asynchronously, without wasting class time. Extempore can be used to assign oral homework, complete final exams, or to have general speaking practice in addition to whatever you get during class time. Using Extempore, instructors can provide written and audio feedback, which will be received by students on their phone or computer.


Extempore’s Website Link

Vocabulary: (read all of the definitions in the episode guide)

obsessed with - be constantly talking or worrying about something

unprecedented - never happened before

a bookworm -

nerd -

bland -

to regurgitate -

cursive -

therapeutic -

bite-sized - 

Language Focus: How To Study (full details in the episode guide!)

1 Flashcards
Create handwritten cards containing small amounts of information to help you organise and remember new vocab, pronunciation notes, etc.

flashcard_21.jpg
 

English Expressions (read all of the definitions in the episode guide)

the beauty of hindsight - It's easy to know the right thing to do after something has happened

to throw someone under the bus - to sacrifice a friend or ally for selfish reasons

empty vessels - people who don’t know anything about a subject / topic (usually children)

leaps and bounds - rapid or fast progress

tech savvy - well informed about or proficient in the use of modern technology, especially computers

set the benchmark - to set an example

under our belts - achieved, completed

left field - a surprising or unconventional position or style

Let’s Connect!

We want to hear from you!

You can answer the following questions:

What do you think of the study tips?

Have you got a favourite?

Or is there another tip that you’d like to tell us about?

You can comment below this episode on the blog (www.englishacrossthepond.com/episodes), in the forum, or on Facebook!