Luke's ENGLISH Podcast - Learn British English with Luke Thompson

By Luke Thompson

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yondu
 Oct 4, 2018
best english podcast

Description

Luke's English Podcast is an award-winning podcast for learners of English. Listen, learn and have fun while picking up natural British English as it really is spoken. http://teacherluke.co.uk Luke

Episode Date
565. The Collins Words of the Year (Part 5) 2018 with Amber Minogue
01:01:24

565. The Collins Words of the Year (Part 5) 2018 with Amber Minogue

Talking to my friend Amber about some trending vocabulary and hot topics from 2018, like plastic pollution, dance crazes and the Brexit backstop. Includes discussion, language explanations, David Attenborough impressions and more. Notes available. 

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8DR 

italki offer www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Dec 17, 2018
564. The Collins Words of the Year (Part 4)
01:15:41

564. The Collins Words of the Year (Part 4)

More trending vocabulary and issues of the moment, this time focusing on topics like working conditions in the gig economy, the pros and cons of instagram and a true story about a unicorn riding a bike in London. Transcript available.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8Dr 

italki offer https://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk

LONDON LEPsters! I am performing stand-up comedy in London on Saturday 15 December in the afternoon.
This is a very late-notice announcement!

Come to the Comedy Store on Oxenden Street in Leicester Square to see me perform stand-up with Paul Taylor. The show is FREE. No reservations. Showtime at 4pm but arrive at 3.30pm to queue like British people. First come, first served. https://thecomedystore.co.uk/london/contact-us/ 

Dec 13, 2018
563. The Collins Words of the Year (Part 3)
01:14:51

563. The Collins Words of the Year (Part 3)

Continuing this episode series with vocabulary explanations and discussions of big issues from the last couple of years.

Includes talk of how social media affects the way we see the world, the pros and cons of fidget spinners, and current debates about gender identity, including my thoughts on the new female Doctor in the classic British TV series, Doctor Who. Transcript available.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8CU

italki offer https://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk

 

Dec 11, 2018
562. The Collins Words of the Year (Part 2)
01:22:02

562. The Collins Words of the Year (Part 2)

Vocabulary explanations and discussions of hot topics from the last couple of years. Talking about some controversial political stuff like the rise of fascism and anti-fascism, the relative popularity of UK opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, and how the winter season changes people's feelings about romance and relationships. Transcript available.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8Cl 

italki offer https://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Dec 10, 2018
561. The Collins Words of the Year (Part 1)
01:19:05

561. The Collins Words of the Year (Part 1)

The first part of an episode series about trending vocabulary - words which have been used a lot in the last couple of years. Listen to me talk about words chosen by Collins Dictionaries as their "Words of the Year". This first episode focuses on how publishers use big data and then lots of discussion about the 2017 word of the year, which was fake news.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8pk 

italki offer https://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Dec 07, 2018
560. Sarah Donnelly Returns - Writing jokes, public speaking, doing comedy in another language
01:20:26

Talking to comedian Sarah Donnelly about how she writes her jokes, advice on public speaking and how to avoid nerves and negative feelings, performing stand-up comedy in another language, and more. Sarah is a comedian and language teacher from the US,  now living in France.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8Bz

italki offer https://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Dec 03, 2018
559. The Rick Thompson Report: Brexit Chaos (November 2018)
01:06:58

559. The Rick Thompson Report: Brexit Chaos (November 2018)

Talking to my dad, Rick Thompson, about recent developments in the story of Brexit - Britain's exit from the European Union. Recorded on 18 November 2018.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8z2

italki offer https://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

 

Nov 19, 2018
558. Rambling in the new Sky-Pod
01:22:38

558. Rambling in the new Sky-Pod

Another solo episode recorded in the new sky-pod. Talking about moving to the new flat, some podcast news, meeting Louis CK, WW1 remembrance, rock climbing and more... Some vocab is explained during the episode.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8xQ 

italki offer https://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Nov 14, 2018
557. I'm a Rambling Guy (Monologue - Autumn 2018) Audio Version
01:32:49

557. I'm a Rambling Guy (Monologue - Autumn 2018)

A rambling monologue about my recent French test, a duck-related error, responses to the Alan Partridge episodes and the Russian comedy club video, moving out of the sky-pod, and life with my wife and daughter. A video version of this episode is available for Premium subscribers in the LEP app and online. www.teacherluke.co.uk/premium

Yes, this episode is long… but you don’t have to listen to it in one sitting. Listen to a bit, then stop and go to work/college, then listen to the rest later. This is much more convenient if you are using a podcast app, like the LEP app (available in the app store on your phone of course!) because it will remember where you stopped listening.

Episode page https://teacherluke.co.uk/2018/10/29/557-im-a-rambling-guy-monologue-autumn-2018/

italki offer https://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk

:)

Nov 01, 2018
#142 - POTTER AROUND/ABOUT
01:42

A Phrasal Verb a Day #142 - TO POTTER AROUND/ABOUT

To spend time in a relaxed way doing pleasant things which are not very important. Relaxing by doing little things and taking your time.

We spent our Sunday just pottering about in the garden.

 
Oct 31, 2018
#141 - POSE AS
04:18

A Phrasal Verb a Day #141 - TO POSE AS

To pretend to be someone else in order to trick someone.

Posing as security guards, the bank robbers entered the building through the back door.

Oct 31, 2018
#140 - POP IN / OUT / OFF / ON / UP (A Phrasal Verb a Day is back)
09:10

#140 - POP IN / OUT / OFF / ON / UP (A Phrasal Verb a Day is back)

A Phrasal Verb a Day is back. In this episode I'll give you an update about this podcast and teach you phrasal verbs with POP.

Episode Transcript

Hello everyone,

This is Luke Thompson and you’re  listening to A Phrasal Verb a Day. This is where I attempt to teach you a phrasal verb every day for a year. Yes, this project is still ongoing.

APVAD is back! In this episode I’m going to teach you some more common phrasal verbs as we continue on this mission to get to 365 days of phrasal verbs.

Now I’m going to talk to you about phrasal verbs with the word pop and there are a lot.

Also I want to say that APVAD will continue after this, but not here at this RSS feed - all the new episodes will appear in the LEP App and online at  www.teacherluke.co.uk/pv

Over the next days or weeks, 10 more episodes of a phrasal verb a day will appear in the app.

I’ll talk to you more about that  in a moment. First let me just remind you of this project.

This is where I teach you phrasal verbs - these essential bits of natural English. Originally I planned to do one of these every day but after a couple of months it became impossible! I’ve added more episodes over the years and we’re currently on #139 I think. Well, it’s time to revive this series and do so in the LEP app which I expect is where you are listening to this.

So what I do in these episodes is explain and demonstrate various phrasal verbs.  I think the best way to learn vocab is to hear it being used in context with vivid examples and I always try to do this, sometimes having a bit of fun with some scenarios. All of it is designed to help you learn these crucial bits of English. Phrasal verbs are crucial because this is exactly the way native speakers use the language but learners of English have trouble with them because they are idiomatic, tricky in structure and don’t exist as grammatical forms in their languages.

Let’s carry on, with a big one.

“POP”

Phrasal verbs with pop.

This is extremely common and quite versatile. It’s absolutely one of the most common little phrases used every day all over the country. It’s informal but polite and let’s hear about it.

Pop on, pop in, pop out, pop off, pop up and more.

 

---Teach POP phrasal verbs---

Listen for full examples and definitions.

Pop in = go somewhere quickly for a short visit

Pop on = put an object somewhere, or wear some clothes

Pop out = to leave quickly or for a short time

Pop over / pop round = visit someone quickly for a short time

Pop up = appear quickly or suddenly

a pop-up ad

 

SO there you go.

 

Normally these episodes are shorter than this.

As I said earlier, there will be about 10 more of these phrasal verb episodes arriving soon, but they won’t arrive here in the APVAD podcast feed. They’ll arrive in the LEP App. So get the LEP App for your smartphone, you can find it in the app store for iOS and Android. Then in the app use the side menu to find the Phrasal Verb category. All the episodes will be there.

You can also access and download the episodes from www.teacherluke.co.uk/pv  

The transcript collaboration for these episodes is still going, so if you’d like to contribute a transcript to an APVAD episode, go to my website and then Episodes, then hover over “Phrasal verb podcast” and click transcript collaboration.

Have a good day!

:)

Oct 30, 2018
556. With Jessica Beck from Honestly English
01:01:46

Talking to English teacher Jessica Beck about her new website, "Honestly English" and some typical topics she talks about and teaches, including the #MeToo movement and our favourite female superheroes and comedians. Videos and links available.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8uH

italki offer https://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Oct 24, 2018
555. Raphael Miller's Summer School Report
01:14:28

555. Raphael Miller's Summer School Report

Raphael Miller is back on the podcast to tell us about his experience of running a summer school for international teenagers in Liverpool.

The conversation includes lots of stories and descriptions of what happened at the school this summer, including things like teenage sleeping habits, a Chinese celebrity teenager, the proper way to eat a pizza, piano-playing Italian wonder-kids, making tie-dye t-shirts, riding roller-coasters, and blossoming friendships across national borders.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8us 

italki offer https://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Oct 22, 2018
554. ODD NEWS STORIES (with Mum & Dad)
01:11:37

554. ODD NEWS STORIES (with Mum & Dad)

Discussing some strange and funny news stories with my parents. Thanks to my Mum & Dad for their contribution to this episode. Transcripts and notes available.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8u1 

italki offer https://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk

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

Oct 18, 2018
553. Fighting Wildland Fires with Benny the Russian Firefighter
51:48

553. Fighting Wildland Fires with Benny the Russian Firefighter

Talking to firefighter Anton Beneslavsky (aka "Benny") who works as the leader of an international fire fighting project. We talk about becoming a firefighter, the work that he’s doing with Greenpeace around the world and the very serious threat of climate change.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8tv 

italki offer www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

 

Oct 15, 2018
552. Discussing Comedy & Culture (with Amber & Paul)
01:17:11

552. Discussing Comedy & Culture (with Amber & Paul)

Amber, Paul and I listen to a comedy video which is often sent to me by listeners to this podcast. The video is about the experience of trying to understand people when they speak English. Let's see what the pod-pals think of this comedy from another country. The conversation then turns to comedy, culture, language and some more Alan Partridge. I read out some listener comments at the end of the episode. Notes, transcripts and links available.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8sS

Spoken offer www.getspoken.com/lep 

Oct 05, 2018
551. Catching Up with Amber & Paul #8 - Stereotypes
48:12

551. Catching Up with Amber & Paul #8 - Stereotypes

Chatting to the pod-pals Amber & Paul again and this time the conversation turns to the subject of national stereotypes, and why Paul has bleached his hair blond. Notes & transcripts on the website.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8sg

Spoken offer www.getspoken.com/lep

Oct 01, 2018
550. British Comedy: Alan Partridge (Part 3)
01:38:33

550. British Comedy: Alan Partridge (Part 3)

This episode is long, but stick with it! This is the final part of this trilogy of British Comedy episodes about Alan Partridge, analysing some of the quieter and darker moments in Alan's life. Expect analysis of both the comedy and the language. Vocabulary lists and transcript available. Vocabulary lists and transcript available. 

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8s9

italki offer www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Sep 28, 2018
549. British Comedy: Alan Partridge (Part 2)
01:28:15

549. British Comedy: Alan Partridge (Part 2)

Building on the previous episode, this time we're looking at how Alan Partridge interacts with people in his every day life and how this results in some classic moments of British TV comedy. All the material is explained with plenty of vocabulary to learn.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8rP 

italki offer https://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Sep 26, 2018
548. British Comedy: Alan Partridge (Part 1)
55:34

548. British Comedy: Alan Partridge (Part 1)

Continuing the comedy theme by analysing a character that most British people know but learners of English find difficult to understand.

Check the page for the episode for transcripts, notes and videos.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8rv

italki offer www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Sep 25, 2018
547. Best Jokes from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
43:19

547. Best Jokes from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Studying some jokes told by stand-up comedians at the Edinburgh Fringe comedy festival, and dissecting them for vocabulary. Learn English with some jokes and find out about typical joke structures used by stand-up comedians. Transcripts and jokes available.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8rf 

Spoken offer http://www.getspoken.com/lep 

Sep 19, 2018
546. Death by Meteor
55:37

546. Death by Meteor

This episode is called Death By Meteor and it’s all about asteroids, space, science, maths, astrophysics and the end of the world! Transcript available.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8qA

italki offer http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk

Sep 11, 2018
545. The Hitchhiker by Roald Dahl (Short Story)
44:28

545. The Hitchhiker by Roald Dahl (Short Story)

Learn English with this short story by British writer Roald Dahl.

Introduction transcript and short story link available on the episode page, here https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8qm 

italki offer www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

:)

Sep 07, 2018
544. The Rick Thompson Report: No Deal Brexit
48:57

544. The Rick Thompson Report: No Deal Brexit

Talking to my dad about the current Brexit situation, including what could actually happen in the UK if we leave the EU with no deal. Expect language relating to politics, economics and the big issues of the day. Intro and outtro transcripts available.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8pp

Spoken offer www.getspoken.com/lep 

 

Aug 27, 2018
543. Britain's First Insect Restaurant Opens
57:16

Talking about the creepy subject of eating insects, which might be the solution to many of the problems that humans face as a species. This episode includes discussion of eating habits, environmental issues and some insect-related idioms and expressions. Transcripts and vocabulary lists available. Bon appetit!

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8nD

italki offer http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

:) 

Aug 23, 2018
542. Talking Rubbish & Just Having Fun with The Thompsons
01:10:05

542. Talking Rubbish & Just Having Fun with The Thompsons

Talking to my dad, mum and brother about all manner of topics, including: Space, climbing mountains, British comedy, fishing, earworms, tattoos, David Beckham, jokes, citizenship tests, baby monkeys, ghosts and celebrity impressions. Intro and outtro transcripts available.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8oV 

italki offer www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

 

Aug 21, 2018
541. What British People Say vs What They Mean
01:02:56

541. What British People Say vs What They Mean

Examining British communication style and debunking a few myths about how British people communicate.

This episode is based on a famous infographic called "What British People Say vs What They Really Mean" or "The Anglo-EU Translation Guide".

It contains lots of thoughts about how direct and indirect cultures communicate with each other, and some samples of business English, with a few improvised scenarios too! Transcript available.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8nF 

Spoken offer www.getspoken.com/lep 

Jul 31, 2018
540. What’s Up? Post World Cup / News / LEP Meetup London / Super Mario Earworms
54:57

540. What’s Up? Post World Cup / News / LEP Meetup London / Super Mario Earworms

Giving some news, summing up the World Cup, England out, France win, and some chat about music that gets stuck in your head. Get some English stuck in your head with this episode. Transcript available!

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8mW

italki offer www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk

Jul 21, 2018
539. World Cup 2018 [3] Is It Coming Home?
59:21

More football episodes - but it won't last forever! In this one I'm in England talking to my Dad and my brother about the world cup so far including England's performances, World Cup songs, diving, VAR and predictions for the semi finals. Enjoy!

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8kI

italic offer www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Jul 09, 2018
538. World Cup 2018 [2] The Second Round / Listener Comments
57:07

Talking about the second round of the World Cup in Russia, including comments about the teams, the games, the issues, England's penalties vs Colombia and the way football commentators speak. Listener comments are read out. Notes available.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8la 

Spoken offer www.getspoken.com/lep

Jul 05, 2018
537. How Olly Richards Learns a Language (Part 2) Intermediate Plateau / The Magic of Story / Pronunciation & Personality / Classroom vs Self-Guided Learning
01:00:58

537. How Olly Richards Learns a Language (Part 2) Intermediate Plateau / The Magic of Story / Pronunciation & Personality / Classroom vs Self-Guided Learning

The rest of my conversation with polyglot Olly Richards, talking about how to overcome the intermediate plateau, the magic of story, pronunciation and identity issues, and self-guided learning. 

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8kw 

italki offer www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

 

Jul 02, 2018
536. How Olly Richards Learns a Language (Part 1) Compelling Material / Input-based Learning
57:43

536. How Olly Richards Learns a Language (Part 1) Compelling Material / Input-based Learning

Talking to polyglot Olly Richards about the benefits of listening, reading and using stories to learn English. Full of insights and strategies for effective language learning. Transcripts and notes available.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8k5 

italki offer www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Jun 29, 2018
535. World Cup 2018 [1]
01:07:25

535. World Cup 2018 [1]

Talking about the World Cup 2018 in Russia, including comments about the teams, players, groups, VAR and England's performances. Notes & transcripts available.

Episode page 

italki offer www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Jun 26, 2018
LEP PREMIUM is now live - teacherluke.co.uk/premium
18:52

LEP Premium is ready - www.teacherluke.co.uk/premium 

This is an announcement to let you know that LEP Premium is now ready to go.

If you want to superpower your English into the 9th dimension, then you can get started by signing up for LEP Premium. Let me tell you about it.

I’m about to upload some premium episodes into the app. They’ll also be available online if you don’t have the app - but the app is going to be the most convenient way to listen to these episodes in the normal way, when you’re out and about or when you’re at home studying. There will be about 3 episodes coming - probably already there by now, and then more episodes + bonuses every month after that.

The way this works is that you’ll need to just create a profile online with my host, sign into the app with that profile and you’ll get access to all the premium episodes I’ve uploaded and am going to upload.

www.teacherluke.co.uk/premium to get started. Then Get Access to Premium Episodes. Complete the details and get your login codes and then bob’s your uncle. In the app the login is in the settings menu.

Make sure your version of the LEP app is updated.

Check the PREMIUM category and that’s where you’ll find the episodes. There will be episodes coming regularly and I’ll also upload other things for premium subscribers, including pdfs, shorter episodes, phrasal verbs and videos. There will be quite a lot of content for the premium subscribers - in the app and online.

Yep - you will also have to pay for the premium episodes, but it will be a small amount - just a few dollars - like the price of a coffee, and finally this is a way for me to monetise my online work, and for you to support this whole project.

PREMIUM DEAL

  • All the usual episodes of LEP, sometimes with bonuses if you’re using the app, (obviously).
  • Minimum 2 premium episodes per month (MINIMUM - probably more) + various bonuses
  • Premium episodes will be primarily focused on teaching you language. Helping you to develop your vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation with a special interest in looking at how English really sounds vs how it is written. It’s all about decoding language, helping you realise how it really sounds as well as how it is structured.
  • Pdfs with transcripts, vocab lists and notes for each P episode - available in the app or downloadable online.
  • More phrasal verb episodes - New ones :)
  • Video versions of LEP Episodes sometimes (not every single episode, but when possible)
  • Invitations to live YouTube streaming events - e.g. live podcast recordings or online workshops & Q&A sessions - only for premium subscribers (arrange a date, tell them you’ll send the email 30 mins before the live stream, set up the live stream as unlisted, send the email with link, start)
  • All content in the app and online

So the podcast will continue as normal with normal episodes being free, but premium subscribers can access all this other stuff too.

Premium Episode content

Every premium episode will primarily be about teaching language to you. Grammar, vocab or pron.

Episodes will be either:

  • Language Reviews focusing on English which has come up naturally in normal episodes of LEP (e.g. unpacking the grammar, vocab or pron in conversations or monologues). Learn real English as it is spoken by my friends and guests.
  • Language Lessons focusing on grammar, vocab or pronunciation (similar to recent grammar lessons). I’ll pick useful, important or requested areas of language and analyse + explain them in proper detail.

You might think - what’s the difference between premium and normal?

Normal LEP episodes can be divided into 2 functions:

  • To give you listening practice. Exposure to plenty of spoken English is vital for developing proper English skills. Listen a lot and you learn language as a consequence. Sometimes I explain things as I go in order to help make things clear and because as a teacher for over 16 years, I’m always teaching you language, even if that’s not the primary aim of the episode. The primary aim of episodes like this is to explain a topic to you, to teach you about culture, tell you stories, make you laugh, interview people and generally encourage you to listen to English as it is spoken naturally. Language learning happens as a consequence, and you can push it further and more effectively by using the transcripts and notes that I publish free on my website.
  • To teach you language directly, rather than just giving you listening practice. I pick certain language points and explain them explicitly with definitions and made up examples. Or I pick out language that has come up in conversation and teach it back to you, helping you to notice features of natural speech. I’ve been teaching English for over 16 years. I’m well-qualified and experienced. I have a particular set of skills for teaching. I can use those skills to explain, define and demonstrate aspects of English directly to help you learn directly. This is about focusing on language from the bottom up.

Putting it simply, Type 1 = topic episodes. Type 2 = language episodes.

Most episodes deal with the first option, with a bit of the second option thrown in too.

E.g. the recent episodes with Andy or other conversations in which I explain the vocab and language afterwards.

Some episodes deal with the second option, with a bit of 1 thrown in.

E.g. language focused episodes, like the recent Grammar Questions, or ones about phrases with GET or plenty of episodes in the archive in which I teach idioms, verb tenses, connected speech, etc.

Type 2 episodes often take a long time to prepare. They also involve me using professional skills that at this point in my career should come with a fee

Premium episodes will primarily be type 2 episodes.

I’ve decided that I need to try and monetise some of my podcast work.

I’ve been doing it for 9 years. This April was the 9 year anniversary of LEP.

Doing the podcast is my part-time job. I teach at the BC and I do my podcast.

I really want to continue doing it, I want to support your English, but I also need to support my family!

I think you understand.

I want the podcast to remain free, and that will happen. Normal episodes of LEP will still be free. There might be slightly less of them, but so be it. But they will be free.

If you want to support LEP after all these years you can by becoming a premium member and you’ll get a bunch of serious bonus content too.

Jack

I remember listening to the pink gorilla episode about a year ago and during the episode you said "OK, never mind". Same thing happened again and when it happened the second time I thought : Why does King say "OK, never mind" why doesn't he just say "OK" ? What does "never mind" mean? And that curiosity led me to google and that's how I learned that word :) So with LEP Premium episodes you are essentially explaining the listeners all the language without them having to do any hard work :P they just have to listen to that episode everyday until it clicks.

 

Your vocabulary is going to get so good

This is a double whammy of just absorbing English through exposure and having things carefully pointed out and clarified, explained

How do teachers choose what English to teach you? It’s based on general corpora of English. With this method the corpora is LEP. Learn the English you hear on the podcast.

So, not only will you be hearing a lot of vocabulary just coming up naturally in context in normal episodes (which is a really solid way to build awareness of English into your life steadily, bit by bit) but also you’ll regularly have things clarified and taught to you by me afterwards. I think it should be a powerful combination of natural exposure to English in full context and also good old fashioned language teaching from me - all based on the same language.

I think to get this full LEP experience you’ll need to be a premium subscriber.

It’ll also help you to understand and appreciate the normal episodes of the podcast that much more. For example, imagine hearing a conversation with Amber & Paul - you might enjoy it because of the fun vibe we have between us, but there’s bound to be loads of things you’ll miss. Then you can hear a premium episode which clarifies so much of what we said. You could then go back and listen to the original episode again, armed with so much more understanding - you’d understand much much more of it and as a result a lot of that language is going to stick with you.

It’s the ideal combination I reckon.

Also, your grammar is going to get more and more solid as I will make a point of highlighting features of grammar, as well as vocabulary as we go.

LEPP episodes won’t just be about explaining vocab and grammar you’ve heard. Some episodes will be lessons that just focus on important bits of language that you need to know anyway, even if they haven’t come up specifically in other episodes.

It’s all about language - raising awareness, raising your understanding, improving your accuracy so you avoid common errors, making you more confident with the language but not in an abstract way - in a way that connects it to how the language is actually used and has actually been used in conversations you’ve already heard on the podcast.

That’s the thinking behind LEP Premium. I hope you jump on for the ride.

Now, there are 3 premium episodes recorded and ready to go and they’ll be available to you almost immediately.

Remember, they’ll be in the LEP App in the premium category, and on the LEP Premium page at teacherluke.co.uk/premium

That’s where you’ll find the episodes and you’ll be able to get the pdfs in those places too.

Use the website teacherluke.co.uk/premium to set up your premium profile with a login code and password.

Then you can sign into the app and gain access to premium content there, and also sign in online and get episodes there, including any premium players on my website which will be locked unless you’re a subscriber.

Choose your payment plan. This is where you are going to help me out with a contribution each month.

 

Price

How much do you reckon you’d expect to pay for all this stuff? Think of it as a contribution towards helping the podcast.

$3.99 per month = Buy me a pint of beer in a pub

$19.99 every six months ($3.29 per month) Buy me a Big coffee - 15% discount

$34.99 per year ($2.89 per month) Buy me a Small coffee - 30% discount

Remember all the stuff you’ll be able to get:

Minimum 2 premium episodes per month (MINIMUM - probably more)

Pdfs with transcripts, vocab lists and notes for each P episode - available in the app or downloadable online.

More phrasal verb episodes

Video versions of LEP Episodes (not every single episode, but when possible)

Invitations to live YouTube streaming events - e.g. live podcast recordings or online workshops & Q&A sessions (arrange a date, tell them you’ll send the email 30 mins before the live stream, set up the live stream as unlisted, send the email with link, start)

All content in the app and online

Any questions, let me know at luketeacher@hotmail.com

There will also be at least one page on the website where you can leave comments for premium content.

First thing, get your premium profile set up and get access to about 3 episodes which will be available in the next couple of days.

Then look forward to regular content coming in - language reviews of conversations with guests, grammar and pronunciation lessons - all the things you need to progress in your English with Luke’s English Podcast.

www.teacherluke.co.uk/premium to get started

In the app you sign in in the settings page.

I hope you’re as excited as me to really dig deep into British English and learn the same stuff that people actually say on a daily basis, rather than just some words on paper or in a book which look nothing like the way they sound when people speak.

www.teacherluke.co.uk/premium to get started

Speak to you again soon.

Bye

Jun 22, 2018
534. Sugar Sammy Interview (Part 2) Language & Comedy
01:23:09

534. Sugar Sammy Interview (Part 2) Language & Comedy

Part 2 of my chat with Canadian stand-up comedian Sugar Sammy, talking about his 4 languages, TV shows from our childhood, copying Indian accents, language-related controversy in Quebec, Sammy’s crowd-work skills, stories of difficult gigs in the UK, and our thoughts on recent Star Wars films. At the end of the episode you can hear my spoiler-free review of “Solo: A Star Wars Story”. Transcriptions and notes available.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8jK 

Spoken offer www.getspoken.com/lep 

Jun 15, 2018
533. Sugar Sammy Interview (Part 1) Multilingual Comedian
55:34

Sugar Sammy is a very popular and famous comedian from Canada. He's often described as Montreal's #1 stand up comedian. He speaks 4 languages, he has performed comedy in lots of countries. He might be coming to your country soon to make you laugh. Ladies and gentlemen - meet the wonderful Sugar Sammy!

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8jD 

italki offer http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk

Jun 13, 2018
532. A History of The World Cup
01:35:55

This episode is a history of The World Cup. You’ll see that it’s very long! I didn’t expect it to be this long. I hope you enjoy it! I covers all the World Cups we’ve had since 1930, focusing on the key events with a few dodgy jokes along the way. You can read 99% of the transcript on the page for this episode.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8jl 

 

Jun 08, 2018
531. Crime Vocabulary Quiz (with Moz)
50:42

Test yourself and learn various verbs and nouns related to crime. Features some amusing chat and anecdotes with Moz from the Murder Mile True Crime Podcast. Transcripts and vocabulary available.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8iF

italki offer http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Jun 06, 2018
530. More Murder Stories (with Moz)
01:04:51

My friend Moz (Michael J. Buchanan-Dunne) from the Murder Mile True Crime Podcast tells us some more true stories about murders from London's past. Contains some gruesome details and explicit descriptions, and some fascinating and unbelievable true stories! Intro and outtro transcripts available.

*Adults Only: This episode contains gory details and explicit violent descriptions*

Spoken offer http://www.getspoken.com/lep

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8iD 

Jun 03, 2018
529. The "M" Word (with Andy Johnson)
01:18:32

529. The "M" Word (with Andy Johnson)

Friend of the podcast Andy Johnson returns to give us some news and tell some stories all related to things that begin with the letter "M". Intro & outtro transcripts available.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8ir 

italki offer http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk  

May 29, 2018
528. The Royal Wedding (with Mum)
01:07:43

528. The Royal Wedding (with Mum)

Talking to my mum about the royal wedding between Prince Harry & Meghan Markle. Describing the ceremony, the guests and the dress, and discussing the place of the monarchy in modern British life. Some transcriptions and vocabulary available.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8i2

italki offer http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Image linked via Telegraph.co.uk https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/05/20/cutest-royal-wedding-pictures-prince-george-princess-charlotte/ 

May 22, 2018
527. Can Paul Taylor Pass The UK Citizenship Test?
01:35:42

527. Can Paul Taylor Pass The UK Citizenship Test?

Testing Paul Taylor's knowledge of British life, history and culture and discussing the "Life in the UK" citizenship test. Practise listening to British English natural speech, learn facts about the UK and have a laugh as Paul gets angry about this test for people who want to become UK citizens. Will Paul actually pass the test? Listen to find out what happens.

Take the same test https://lifeintheuktestweb.co.uk/test-1/ 

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8hD

italki offer http://www.teacherluke.co.uk 

May 18, 2018
526. Being a Tourist (with Paul Taylor) Audio version
01:16:58

[Audio version] Catching up with Paul Taylor and talking about his recent trips to Japan & Barcelona, the pros and cons of being a tourist and some recommendations for people visiting London and Paris as tourists. Video available on the website and in the LEP app.

For LEP App users - find the video in the Videos category.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8h9

italki offer http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

VOTE FOR LEP in the British Podcast Awards http://www.britishpodcastawards.com/vote 

 

 

May 16, 2018
Please VOTE for Luke's English Podcast
16:01

Help me build my pod-castle! Vote here:

http://www.britishpodcastawards.com/vote 

Click the link and search for "luke's english podcast"

Thank you to everyone who's already voted.

Fingers crossed! 🤞🤞🤞

Vocabulary in this Mini Episode

  • to be in with a chance (of doing something)
  • you need to achieve certain milestones
  • it shows that you're getting somewhere, you're making progress
  • it's a flag you can wave or a banner you can show to people
  • you need flags you can fly from the top of the castle
  • to fly the flag of victory
  • I'm asking you to do me a favour in return for the free things I've been giving to you
  • "I can't be bothered"
  • "I think I'll just not bother"
  • it would mean the world to me
  • it's up to you whether I actually get this or not
  • I'm hoping, praying, wondering whether or not it's actually possible
  • listen to me begging!
  • that would be a nice birthday present, wouldn't it?
  • get your skates on
  • don't hang around
  • don't put it off, it's not the washing up!
  • you need to do it sooner rather than later
  • don't leave it until the last minute
  • men, women and any other denomination you choose to respect
  • I didn't video the second one because I'd run out of memory on my camera-thing
  • I was up for about an hour and a half at a very ungodly hour
  • she got a bit over-excited
  • I've got a dry, painful, sore throat and I've got a blocked-up nose
  • it's raining and its a bit chilly

May 14, 2018
525. Ninja August / Podcast Corrections / Useful Japanese Cat (Listener Comments & Questions)
56:52

525. Ninja August / Podcast Corrections / Useful Japanese Cat (Listener Comments & Questions)

Responding to more comments and questions from listeners, including some rambling about public holidays in France, why May is like 'ninja August', some corrections to what I said about bats and Stephen Hawking on the podcast and the story of an amazing useful cat from Japan.

Vote for LEP in the British Podcast Awards http://www.britishpodcastawards.com/vote 

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8gz 

italki offer http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Transcript Collaboration https://teacherluke.co.uk/episodes-with-transcripts/transcripts/ 

May 07, 2018
524. Tricky Pronunciation Debates / "Either" "Neither" / Song + Comedy Sketch
01:12:35

Talking about words which can be pronounced several ways, words which are often pronounced incorrectly by native speakers and the debates, arguments and frustration that arises between native speakers as a result. Includes the "You Say Tomato..." song and the Grammar Nazi sketch, explained. Transcript & notes available.

Vote for LEP in the British Podcast Awards! http://www.britishpodcastawards.com/vote 

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8ge

italki offer http://teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

 

May 04, 2018
523. Tips for Learning English with Films & TV Shows (with Cara Leopold)
01:17:48

Talking to fellow English teacher Cara Leopold about advice for using TV shows and films to learn English, both with and without subtitles.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8fB 

italki offer www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Apr 24, 2018
522. Learning English at Summer School in the UK (A Rambling Chat with Raphael Miller)
01:20:38

Talking to my ex-colleague Raphael Miller about his new summer school for teenagers + rambling about British social and communication culture, growing up in Liverpool, studying at Oxford University, the famous Star Wars actor Raphael knows and remembering some of the old-fashioned ways we used to describe computers and the internet. Transcripts and links below. 👨‍🎓🌞🇬🇧

www.yourenglishsummer.co.uk 

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8ft 

italki offer www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk

Apr 18, 2018
521. Talking about Pets (with James)
01:13:25

Usually when I talk to my brother on the podcast we talk about fairly obscure topics, like cult films, musical subcultures or skateboarding, but this time we chose a universal topic; pets. Listen to this conversation to hear James and me remembering the pets we had as children and discussing some issues related to keeping animals as pets.

Transcript for the introduction and ending available on the website.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8f4

italki offer http://www.teacherluke.co.uk 

Apr 13, 2018
A New Episode is Now Available in the LEP App
06:42

Check out the new episode in the LEP App to learn some really useful prepositional phrases & have some common doubts answered, like "on time vs in time vs at the beginning vs in the beginning vs at the end vs in the end" & more.

Get the LEP App for your phone

 iPhone/iPad – APPLE APP STORE

📱ANDROID – GOOGLE PLAY STORE 

 

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8eW 

Apr 10, 2018
520. Idioms Game & Chat Part 2 (with Andy Johnson) + 18 More Idioms & Vocab Items Explained
01:36:41

The second part of my chat with Andy Johnson. Listen out for 18 more idioms which will be explained later. Topics include: Twitter abuse, the other Andy Johnson, training for the London Marathon + more.

Transcripts and vocabulary definitions available.

Episode page: https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8dR 

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk

Apr 03, 2018
519. Idioms Game & Chat (with Andy Johnson) + 25 Idioms Explained
01:17:27

A conversation with Andy Johnson including loads of idiomatic expressions and their explanations. First you can listen to a rambling chat with Andy and then I'll explain 25 idioms that came up during the conversation. Part 2 coming soon...

Transcriptions, Vocabulary list & Definitions available.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8dL 

italki offer http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Mar 29, 2018
518. Grammar Questions (Part 1) Present Perfect Continuous / Future Continuous / Language of Newspaper Headlines
01:13:46

Answering grammar questions from listeners, with details about verb tenses (including present continuous vs present perfect continuous & future continuous vs going to) and the language of newspaper headlines. Includes references to The Queen, The Legend of Zelda and a lot of pizza. Transcriptions & grammar notes available.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8cN 

italki offer http://www.teacherluke.co.uk 

Mar 21, 2018
517. Professor Stephen Hawking (An Obituary)
01:10:58

I woke up this morning to the news that Stephen Hawking had died and I thought - I really must talk about this. He was a British scientist who must be considered one of the most significant people of recent years - a brilliant mind who contributed so much to our understanding of the nature of reality itself while also struggling against some extreme personal difficulties and for those reasons he’s a great inspiration to many people around the world.

In this episode I’m just going to talk about him, his life, his achievements, his sense of humour and how he will continue to be an inspiration to people for many years to come. Let's learn some English along the way.

Vocabulary list available

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8cy 

italki offer http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Mar 14, 2018
516. Paul McCartney's Spider Story (Intensive Listening)
01:21:03

Learn English from an anecdote told by Sir Paul McCartney. Let's listen to Paul telling a sweet story about something funny that happened to him and George Harrison when they were teenagers, before they became world famous musicians in The Beatles. Let's listen to his story, do some intensive listening practice and then I'll help you understand everything. Also, let's have a laugh with some funny Paul McCartney impressions. Video and notes available below.

Episode page https://teacherluke.co.uk/2018/03/10/516-paul-mccartneys-spider-story/ 

italki offer http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Mar 10, 2018
515. Becoming "Maman" with Amber & Sarah - Bringing Up Children The French Way
01:11:58

In this episode I'm talking to friends of the podcast Amber Minogue and Sarah Donnelly about the subject of raising children in a foreign country - in this case, France. So this is an episode all about cross-cultural experiences, specifically relating to parenthood. It's also about a new podcast and stage show which Amber & Sarah have just started. Transcriptions, notes and links available.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8aE

italki offer http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk

 

Mar 06, 2018
514. What's on the table? (with Fred & Alex)
01:37:45

In this episode you can hear me chatting to Fred Eyangoh and Alex Quillian and discussing various topics including growing up in different countries, recognising different accents in English, religious backgrounds, movie re-boots, Arnold Shwartzenegger going "nyarrrgh" and more. Fred and Alex are both stand-up comedians living in Paris who perform in English. 

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8b4 

italki offer http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Mar 01, 2018
513. General Ramble / News / Comments
01:15:01

A general ramble about things like: dishwasher sounds, online clickbait, updates to the LEP app, my recent appearances on some OPP (other people's podcasts), LEPster meetups and some responses to recent comments on the website. Notes, links & videos available.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8bt

italki offer http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Feb 23, 2018
512. My Experiences of (not) Learning French [Part 2] Learning Language in a Classroom vs Learning On Your Own
01:44:23

Talking more about my experiences as a student of French, this time reading from notes I took during my French lessons (when I should have been focusing on the class!) and some considerations about learning a language in a classroom and learning on your own. Notes & transcript available.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-8ab 

italki offer http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Feb 16, 2018
511. My Experiences of (not) Learning French [Part 1]
01:36:35

Sharing my experiences of learning French (or not learning it). My French and Me - How I learned some French as a child and how I'm failing to learn it properly as an adult. Includes conclusions about language learning, immersion and the importance of motivation, habit and simply applying yourself. Notes & transcriptions available.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-81p 

italki offer http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Feb 13, 2018
510. Philosophy Quiz (with Amber & Paul)
01:26:29

In this episode you can listen to Amber, Paul and me as we take an online quiz and try to find out what school of philosophical thought we belong to. Are we empiricists, epicurianists, existentialists, hedonists, humanists, platonists, skeptics or stoicists? Listen on to find out more and to hear a full-on discussion of life, the universe and everything.

Episode page: https://wp.me/p4IuUx-88T 

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk

PHILOSOPHY QUIZ LINK - CLICK HERE

Feb 06, 2018
509. What’s it all about? (Philosophy and Language Learning)
01:28:35

This episode is all about philosophy and how this applies to language learning. Listen to me describing 8 different 'schools' of philosophical thought. Are hedonists good language learners? How do rationalists and empiricists disagree about how we learn languages? Is language learning an innate ability or just something that can only happen as a result of things we do after we're born?  And, how does philosophy answer life's big questions such as, "What's life all about?" "What are we doing here?" and "What shall we have for dinner?" Transcript available. 

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-88S

italki offer http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Feb 01, 2018
508. Six True Crime Stories from Victorian England, Told by My Dad
01:04:45

Learn English by listening to Rick Thompson telling some true stories of petty crimes committed in an English town in 1851.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-88W 

italki offer http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Jan 28, 2018
507. Learning English with UK Comedy TV Shows
01:27:37

Recommendations and descriptions of British comedy TV shows with some comments about how to use comedy TV shows to learn English. Transcript available on the episode page. 

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-81r 

italki offer http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Jan 20, 2018
506. One of Britain's Favourite Poems
01:12:00

Listen to readings of "If—" by Rudyard Kipling, a popular poem from England. Includes analysis of the vocabulary and the themes in the poem and also a chance to enjoy the unique voice of Sir Michael Caine - with some funny impressions too.  Transcript, vocabulary and videos available on the episode page.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-81n

italki offer http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Jan 16, 2018
505. A Chat with Dad & James about Star Wars: The Last Jedi (with Vocabulary)
01:38:14

Transcripts and Vocabulary Lists for Episode 505

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-87u 

italki offer http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Intro Transcript

Here is the third and final part of this trilogy of episodes about the latest Star Wars film. In this one you'll hear a conversation between my Dad, my brother and me that I recorded just after we'd seen the film a couple of weeks ago. Now, I know that this is perhaps a bit too much Star Wars content on this podcast. Even if you are a fan it might seem like overkill. So let me emphasise the value of the conversation in this episode as an opportunity for you to learn some natural English in an authentic way. You'll hear us talking spontaneously and then in the second half of this episode I'll to explain some of the bits of language that come up in the conversation. So, this isn't just chat about a film, it's a way to present you with real British English as it is actually spoken.

When my family were staying with us for a few days during the Christmas holiday period, fairly soon after our daughter was born, Dad, James and I left my wife and my mum at home to look after the baby and we went off to see the new Star Wars film. This has become something of a Christmas tradition now.

After seeing the film we came home, drank some red wine and then recorded our thoughts and comments for the podcast. That is this conversation.

As you'd expect we were feeling quite excitable after having just sat through 2 and a half hours of intense Star Wars action and we were also slightly tipsy on French wine and so the conversation is quite animated and lively. You will hear us talking over each other a bit. Not every sentence is completed. Some words get cut off as we interrupt each other and although that's all completely normal in conversations like this, it might be difficult for you to understand everything, depending on your level of English, but watch out for various nice expressions that pop up during our chat. I'll be explaining some of them later in this episode.

Right then, let's hear that conversation now - and remember of course that this will contain lots of plot spoilers for Star Wars Episode 8 - so if you haven't seen it yet, please do so before you listen to this. This is your final warning - plot spoilers are coming - please do not let us spoil your enjoyment of the film. You could always come back to listen to this episode later if you want.


Outtro Transcript

Near the end of the conversation there you heard my dad and my brother expressing their doubts about whether this conversation might be either too difficult for you to follow or simply boring for you to hear because of the slightly geeky levels of detail about Star Wars. That's quite a frequent reaction from them, isn't it. It's a bit annoying when they say that kind of thing, but to be honest, I think they've both got a point, to a certain degree, and this shows that making podcast content for learners of English can be a bit of a tightrope. Episodes should be clear enough for learners of English to understand, but at the same time spoken at a natural speed to make them authentic. I want to be able to explore subjects in some depth and detail so that the content is original and insightful without episodes becoming too specific, too long or simply uninteresting for you to listen to. It can be tricky to walk that line. The fact is, it's probably impossible to get it 100% right every time and produce episodes that are popular and useful for absolutely everybody across the board.

But in the end I'm not going to worry about it too much. I expect I lost a few people with all this talk of Star Wars, but if that is the case - so be it. Looking on the bright side - maybe those of you who share my enthusiasm for these films have really enjoyed this trilogy.

In any case, that's it for Star Wars for a while.

Now, let's focus our attention on language - specifically vocabulary. What about some of the expressions, phrasal verbs and other bits of language that you heard?

I've been through the conversation again and made a list. It's quite a big list. I wonder how many of these phrases how many you noticed and how many passed you by. We'll see.

Let's go through them now. And this isn't Star Wars vocabulary - it's all English that you can use to talk about all manner of different things.

This is your chance to broaden your vocabulary, increasing your understanding of not just this conversation but native-level English in general.

Vocabulary (not just Star Wars related)

Listen to the episode to hear my definitions and explanations.

  • Your daughter is gorgeous and all in one piece, and very healthy and alert. It's a wonderful thing and I'm now an uncle.
  • Dad: I'm wearing a flat cap, smoking a pipe, sitting by the fire and dozing. James: No change there then.
  • There's been a big backlash against this film from the die-hard fans.
  • Is there a theory that the score has been dragged down artificially?
  • The sequel trilogy is a return to form, you think?
  • The characters are running out of steam.
  • It doesn't have the same wow factor as before. So they're exaggerating everything to keep it going.
  • It didn't have the same feeling as the originals, that's what you can boil it down to.
  • They added new scenes. They added nothing. They detracted from the originals.
  • I was like you once. Full of beans and spunk!
  • I punched a bloke in the face once for saying Hawk The Slayer was rubbish.
  • I was defending the fantasy genre with terminal intensity when what I should have said is Dad, you're right, but let's give Krull a try and we'll discuss it later.
  • Jar Jar Binks makes the Ewoks look like... f*cking... Shaft! (The Ewoks were annoying, but Jar Jar is so annoying and terrible that by comparison, the Ewoks look extremely cool, like Shaft. This does not mean that Shaft looks like an Ewok. It just means that Shaft is very cool and Jar Jar is very uncool.)
  • Shaft (1971) Directed by Gordon Parks, Richard Roundtree (as John Shaft)
  • Tim, I'm going to have to let you go.
  • Phew! I thought you were going to fire me then!
  • I thought it went seriously downhill when they started to introduce teddy bears.
  • They used more animatronics and puppetry.
  • There are a number of set pieces. It moves from one set piece to another set piece.
  • I thought it was a little bit trying too hard. It was a little bit frenetic.
  • It does go on a bit.
  • I thought they could have done without the cute creatures. It's a bit of Ewokism here.
  • To be honest I kind of got over my star wars obsession when I was about 12.
  • I'm not one of these rabid fans.
  • I'm starting to warm to the new characters.
  • Dad said there were too many explosions. James: I know what you mean. It's the law of diminishing returns. You see one explosion and it's "ooh wow", and you see 100 explosions and it's like "meh".
  • I liked the bit when the guy got chucked into the extractor fan. It was like he got chucked into a lettuce shredder. Bits of him went flying out. That was cool.
  • The extractor fan/lettuce shredder - They should have a grill over that or some sort of guard rail. It's a health and safety issue. It's a health and safety nightmare.
  • To me, it needs a bit of lightening up. I don't want it to be like one of these superhero films like Batman where everything's deadly serious and shrouded in seriousness. Come on it's a kid's film - just lighten up!
  • On milking the sea alien - I thought that was wrong on many levels, but I laughed.
  • I liked Adrian Edmonson. Every moment he was on screen I was stoked.

The rest of this vocabulary is explained in the Luke's English Podcast App - Check the bonus content for episode 505

How to find bonus content for episodes in the app[/caption]

  • Snoke was a classic baddie. He looked horrible and it was lovely when he came to a sticky end.
  • Hang on, let me finish!
  • Were you disappointed that we didn't learn anything else about him, that he just died? James: No I was glad to see the back of him.
  • Some people feel disappointed that his character wasn't developed. Do you think he was killed too easily? Dad: Well, I think he was very cut up about it. (!!!)
  • He was just a really evil thing that had to be got rid of.
  • You take for granted the special effects involved.
  • On Luke throwing away the lightsabre. Dad: He didn't hurl it into the sea, he just tossed it over his shoulder.
  • Pronunciation: We've been to that island. We've been to those rocks. We've been into those huts. We've been there. /bin/ not /bi:n/
  • Maybe Chewie did eat the porg. Dad: I think, "Chewie" - the clue is in the name. He should have chewed into that porg.
  • Luke Skywalker was flawed.
  • He'd coached this trainee jedi, his nephew, who had perfect credentials, good bloodline.
  • He peaked too early.
  • You can see that we're running out of steam.
  • Did you like the new AT-AT walkers? I thought they were sick. I liked the way they walked on their knuckles. I thought it was funny the way they look like they're grumpily stomping along on their knuckles.
  • Gorilla walkers / guerrilla war in the forest
  • (There's a moment where we go from talking about gorilla walkers to guerrilla warfare (Ewoks vs Empire). These are two different words that sound the same.)
  • I was genuinely and generally interested.
  • It didn't feel like they jumped the shark.
  • Disney are going to milk this one dry.
  • Luke Skywalker brushing his shoulder / Obama brushing his shoulder.
  • He turned the tide against him by being too cool in the Whitehouse.
  • At least I didn't sigh in this episode.
Jan 12, 2018
504. My Review of Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Part 2)
02:10:38

Continuing to talk about the latest Star Wars film at length, going through the storyline and giving my thoughts on the characters, events and the audience backlash. Transcript available below.

Episode page: https://wp.me/p4IuUx-87j 

Transcript (95% complete)

OK, so if you check the length of this episode you’ll see it’s more than 2 hours long - Yes, this is definitely the longest episode of LEP I’ve ever done! And this is part 2 of a double episode. If you put parts 1 and 2 together that adds up to nearly 3.5 hours of me talking about Star Wars The Last Jedi. Added to that, the next episode will also be about Star Wars - and that will be a conversation between my dad, my brother and me. So, this has become something of a Star Wars marathon on Luke’s English Podcast. Those of you who are fans of Star Wars will probably be happy about that! Those of you who aren’t interested in Star Wars, or if you just think this film completely sucks - of course you could just skip this episode - I’ll be uploading more non-Star Wars episodes soon, I promise. OK, so strap in then, let’s embark on part 2 of this epic Star Wars themed episode.

Hi, welcome back to the podcast. This is part 2 of a double episode I’m doing about Star Wars: The Last Jedi. In this one I’m going to continue going through the storyline of the film and giving my thoughts and feelings about the characters and events. I thought I’d be able to do all of this in one episode but I have got a bit carried away so I’ve split it into 2 parts.

You should listen to part 1 before listening to this...

If you’re not a fan of Star Wars you could just skip this one. I’m recording it really for the people who’ve seen the film.

Spoiler alert - I’m revealing lots of details about the film, so you should wait until you have seen the film before you listen to this.

There is a script for most of what I’m saying on the episode page on my website so you can read along while listening, or just check for certain words and phrases that you’ll hear me use.

If you’re listening in the LEP app, just click the link for the episdoe page in the episode description - that will allow you to read the script while you’re listening.

After this episode there will be another one about Star Wars - and that will be a chat with my brother and my Dad that I recorded just after we all saw the film together about a week ago.

I realise I’m devoting quite a lot of podcast time to this new film - but I just really enjoy talking about it right at this moment

and as far as I’m concerned that’s enough of a reason for me to do this on the podcast.

Don’t worry, I won’t be doing Star Wars forever of course and we’ll get back to other topics and themes on the podcast soon.

OK then, so I expect the ones still listening to this are the Star Wars fans - so, let’s now continue where I left off.

I was describing that moment when General Leia gets blasted into space when the bridge of her ship gets blown up.

I said that this is quite a controversial scene...

I admit that this scene is weird and we’ve never seen this before in a Star Wars film, but I really don’t think it’s as bad or ridiculous as some people think.

So, Leia is hanging in space in zero gravity after the bridge of her ship has been blown up. She’s hanging in zero gravity. Apparently now we have zero gravity in space. Now - there is no consistency regarding the science in these films as we’ve seen already many times. This is not science fiction - there doesn’t need to be consistent, logical physics. This is a film series in which there are explosions in space, a huge planet sized space station that blows things up with lazers and a mystical force that allows people to control minds, lift objects and even project lightning from their fingers.

In this particular scene. The science serves the characters, the action and the plot, and it can be bent this way and that. We are supposed to just suspend our disbelief and go with the vague rules of this universe. In this case, in this scene, there is zero gravity in space and so Leia is just hanging there. It seems that her skin maybe beginning to freeze, which is what would happen in space I suppose.

She looks dead.

But then her fingers twitch and her eyelids open. When I saw this I immediately thought - she’s using the force to keep herself alive. It’s a survival thing. Then she extends her arm and floats back towards the ship.

Some people say she flies and they get very angry and upset saying “The force doesn’t let you fly”. Well - first of all, she’s not flying - she’s floating through zero gravity.

It wouldn’t require much force power to do that, right? There’s no atmosphere or gravity so it just requires a little bit of force power to pull herself back to the ship.

Also, we know that Leia is force sensitive but up until this point her power has just been to communicate with Luke through the force, to feel and sense things through the force and perhaps the suggestion that she’s been influencing events through the force for a while - like perhaps helping that bomber in the opening battle sequence, and influencing Kylo’s decision not to attack the fleet and so on.

So she has the force but she’s never used it to her full potential. It’s not hard to imagine that in a crucial moment like this that she’d be capable of keeping herself alive and pulling herself back to the ship through zero gravity.

We see this slightly odd, yet strangely beautiful image of Leia floating through space in the middle of a battle. It’s eerie and we’ve never seen anything like this before.

Again, a lot of people hate this scene, but I think they’re being a bit hysterical.

This has never happened before - it’s not consistent!

Yep, well a lot of people complained about episode 7 because it contained nothing new.

This is something new and it’s not completely far fetched. She’s not flying, she’s floating in zero gravity. Leia can’t fly ok? She’s not superwoman. It’s zero gravity. She’s just floating.

So, I’m fine with this scene, but only fine with it.

They could have done this differently.
Other criticisms of this scene include the fact that Leia uses the force here just to save herself, other characters die and she could have saved them.

Well, let’s face it - this film is all about breaking away from the old stuff and that means that some of the old characters have to die, and that includes someone like Admiral Akhbar- the guy who looks like a fish.

I’m not that bothered that Akbar is gone. I liked him - I had the Admiral Akbar toy when I was a child, but it’s fine - we can let him go. These are tragic events.

But maybe she could have used the force differently - like perhaps she could have somehow contained the explosion and held the bridge together - but that surely would have taken much more force strength and ability. I reckon keeping herself alive and then floating back to the ship is consistent with the fact that she’s never fully trained or developed her force abilities.

This moment is also weird and spooky considering the fact that we all know that Carrie Fisher died just after making this film. Here in the film we see her character apparently die, but then her eyes open and she makes a miraculous recovery. I find this spooky and odd, but it doesn’t make me angry or make me want to throw my toys out of the pram and weep for the death of Star Wars. That’s a bit hysterical.

Also, there’s a sense that in the negative reaction to this scene (and to quite a lot of the rest of the film) there’s a bit of sexism going on. Perhaps people just don’t like the idea of a woman flying. I know one person in particular who expressed this opinion - like “What, women can fly now?” “Women can do anything in movies now - this is ridiculous - it’s just rampant feminism”.

Again, that seems like a slightly hysterical reaction. How many times have we seen flying men in movies? How many times are male heroes celebrated by seeing them fly through the air? Tons of times. Superman, Batman (alright he doesn’t fly but almost) Iron Man, Spiderman, Thor and tons of others. Nobody complains about flying men, it happens all the time and it’s not going to stop happening. Then we get one flying woman (who isn’t even flying) and some people throw their toys out of the pram and start complaining about rampant feminism. It’s not the end of the world.

Some people might say - but it’s not consistent with the films. I’d say - yes it is consistent - she’s using her latent force abilities to briefly preserve her life and to pull herself back to the ship.

You might disagree with me on this one - because it’s a really divisive moment in the film and I think a lot of people just couldn’t handle it and this was the moment when they just gave up on the film. If that’s you - write your thoughts in the comment section. What exactly is wrong with this moment? Put your thoughts into words. I’ve given you my point of view, why not give me yours?

So, Leia gets back to the ship and is in a coma. She’s replaced by Vice Admiral Holdo.

Ahch-To - Luke & Rey

Words I used to describe Luke Skywalker:

  • grisled
  • haggard
  • he looks like a wizened old hermit

Luke chucks the lightsaber away.

I was really shocked - gobsmacked. My jaw dropped at this moment.

I was expecting him to refuse the lightsaber but I didn’t expect him to do that, but I went with it.

I was shocked but I went with it.

This is another one of those moments that’s a deal breaker for a lot of people. Some people see Luke throw the light sabre over his shoulder and they find it to be a fundamental problem.

I can understand that. I think it seems a bit dismissive and casual, but this is where Luke is as a character in the story. He has been on this island for god knows how long and he’s utterly lost faith in the Jedi and in the so-called myth of Luke Skywalker. He doesn’t believe in these symbols any more and he has no time for people who expect him to live up to the legend of Luke Skywalker and that’s because at one point he believed in his own legend himself and as a result of that he thought he could do more than he could and this ended in complete failure. He couldn’t live up to all the expectations that he even had of himself.

Some people say this is not consistent with Luke’s character, but I say - why not? Why can’t Luke have gone in this direction in the 30 years since Return of the Jedi?

I found it really interesting that Luke had undergone such dramatic and traumatic changes since episode 6.

Luke’s character in this film is about learning from failure, about being fallible, about struggling with expectations, about the legacy of the Jedi, about the heavy burden that is being the last jedi.

In this film they could have made Luke a massively powerful hero who takes on the First Order armed only with his laser sword, but instead they went for a more complex study of a man who has failed, isolated himself and then slowly comes to terms with what it means to be a myth and how he can use this to do powerful things.

Rey hangs around but Luke refuses to talk to her.

We get some scenes which show Luke’s weird and eccentric lifestyle on the island. He fishes for massive fish in the sea, he lives among the porgs, he even drinks milk from the breast of some kind of weird sea mammal. Not directly from the breast, but he fills a flask with green milk that he gets from the breast of a weird creature that looks a bit like a walrus or something. He then drinks the milk and it drips down his beard, and he stares at Rey while doing this, looking pleased with himself. He’s being purposefully disgusting, and Rey thinks it’s weird.

The green milk scene is another controversial one - controversial meaning that it has split opinions. Some people say this kind of thing has no place in Star Wars and that the humour didn’t really work.

Personally I was fine with it. Both times I saw this in the cinema I was one of the only ones laughing at this moment.

I don’t mind a bit of weird humour and I think Star Wars has always featured this kind of thing.

For example - Jabba The Hutt is a weird creepy slug which licks its slimy lips in a really creepy way when looking at female characters, and there are plenty of other weird moments in the original trilogy. None of them are as blatant as this, but it’s not a complete departure from the world of Star Wars in my opinion.

And just personally, I found it really funny. I also thought that this was Luke testing Rey a bit, in a similar way to how Yoda tested Luke in The Empire Strikes Back. When Luke first arrives on Degobah to meet Yoda (and he doesn’t know what Yoda looks like) Yoda meets him and makes him think he’s just a weird and annoying little creature. He pretends to fight with R2D2, steals Luke’s food and seems totally eccentric and strange. It’s only later that Yoda reveals himself to be a great master. It’s as if he needed to show Luke that you shouldn’t expect heroes to look like heroes and that true heroism is in your actions not in your appearance.

Also this is a trope in a lot of kung fu movies from the 70s. The kung fu master appears as a sort of crazy fool who tests the patience of the main apprentice, giving him lots of annoying tests - and secretly he’s training the apprentice without him realising it.

I like Luke’s grumpy, weird side in this and I found it to be a pleasant surprise.

Anyway, Rey tries unsuccessfully to persuade Luke to join the Resistance and Luke hides in his cabin.

Chewie smashes the door in.

Luke finds out that Han is dead. This doesn’t change his mind, but maybe a little bit.

He visits the Milennium Falcon - this is a big nostalgia moment. The first time we’ve seen Luke on the Falcon since Episode 5 maybe.

He finds R2D2 and the moment they reunite is pretty amazing. Luke removes his hood in order to see him and it reminded me of when Obiwan removed his hood to look at R2D2 in Episode 4.

Them reuniting made me well up...! I’m not ashamed to admit it. R2 is so important to Luke’s whole journey. He’s the whole reason he ended up on this adventure in the first place.

R2 seems to try and persuade Luke to join the Resistance but Luke says “no way”. R2’s response is brilliant. He just plays the hologram of Princess Leia from Episode 4. Luke says “that was a cheap move” or something - and it’s a bit true, this is a pretty cheap way for R2 to persuade Luke, but also a fairly cheap way for the film to make any Star Wars fan feel emotional.

R2D2 goes straight for the jugular (vein).

This was always one of the most magical moments in the original film. When he was a frustrated farmboy dreaming of having adventures, this hologram of a beautiful princess asking for help completely captured his imagination and catapulted him on this journey into adventure, heroism, the force and self-discovery. The function of it here is that it brings Luke one step further towards remembering who he was and it is a stark contrast to who he has become now.

But he’s still committed to the fact that he can’t be involved because he’s convinced that he’ll do more harm than good.

In fact Luke has cut himself off from the force completely. He’s lost faith in the Jedi order.

But you get the sense that he’s not a lost cause. He acts like he’s definitely against the idea of coming back, but we see that he is quite curious about Rey and there is still a spark of the old Luke Skywalker in there.

At one point Rey seems to be called to a big old tree on the island, which I think is the original Jedi temple - or a force tree - I’m not sure of it’s significance completely but I expect it is mentioned in one of the books or something. The tree also houses the sacred Jedi texts. Rey seems drawn to this place and Luke notices this and follows her from a distance.

That’s when he becomes curious about Rey - when he notices that she’s been drawn to this significant place and there’s an interesting exchange there where we see that Rey is confused and doesn’t know who she is. She doesn’t understand how she has her force sensitivity and who her parents are (she’s feeling a bit force sensitive). She’s desperately looking for answers to the questions of her identity while also trying to get Luke to come and help the Resistance. She seems lost and is desperate for guidance.

No idea of how the time works here - all this is going on while the Resistance are battling against time up in space somewhere. Perhaps Ach-To runs on different time cycles. God knows. I don’t think it matters that much.

Luke finally agrees to train Rey a bit. “Tomorrow at dawn - 3 lessons”. Again this is like a kung fu movie or a samurai movie or something, and that is really cool.

3 lessons about the Jedi and why they have to end.

All the while, Rey and Kylo keep having weird force visions in which they are connected and they chat. It’s a bit like secret Skype or something. ForceTime.

She berates him for killing Han Solo and says he’s a monster.

He makes fun of the fact that she is looking for parental figures everywhere.

They grow strangely close, mainly because they’re in similar situations. She’s desperate for guidance. He’s curious about her force abilities, and perhaps is working out if she is an enemy or perhaps a potential ally. They both are alienated from their so-called mentors.

It’s weird and I didn’t know which way this would go. I expected that they’d join forces somehow and fight against both Snoke and Luke Skywalker, but I didn’t believe Luke Skywalker would be a real antagonist.

Like I said before - there’s nothing like watching a Star Wars film when you don’t know what is going to happen next.

Skywalker gives Rey some lessons in the force, but his intention is to break down her misconceptions about what it is, and what the Jedi really are. I could have had more of this to be honest, but then again in the original trilogy there wasn’t much detail about the force either.

With the force I think the more you explain it, the less interesting it becomes. In The Phantom Menace there were these things called midiclorians, which are living organisms that actually carry the force - and it was possible to measure, scientifically, how much force a person had based on their midichlorian count - and because this is physical that this could be genetic and handed down through family connections.

But midichloreans were never spoken of again because they took the magic out of the force. The version of the force we have here is back to how it was in Episode 4 - a mystical energy that binds the galaxy together.

Rey doesn’t understand the force at all - thinking it’s just about controlling people’s thoughts and about moving rocks. This is the childish version of the force. Skywalker tells her it’s a lot more than that, giving a similar version that Obiwan gave to him in episode 4 - that it’s a neutral natural power that exists in the balance between everything.

There are some funny moments where Luke makes fun of her and the way she misunderstands the nature of the force. Again, I’m not bothered by the jokey bits because this is Star Wars not Batman The Dark Knight.

One funny moment is when he tells her to ‘reach out’ and she takes it literally. He means that she should reach out with her feelings, but she reaches out with her arm and he tickles it with a piece of grass saying “can you feel that? That’s the force!” and then he slaps her hand and says “that’s not how the force works” or something. Again, this reminds me of training sequences from kung fu movies which have some humour in them and involve the pupil getting it wrong and the master teasing them.

Then Rey does reach out to the force with her feelings and Luke gives her a little lesson in what it is, and how to connect with it. He’s shocked that she immediately gets pulled towards the dark side, which is represented by a weird dark cave under the island. The rock under her cracks and she has a weird vision of being covered in water.

Luke is shocked that Rey didn’t resist the dark side and he refuses to train her any more because the last time this happened it all went horribly wrong.

He also attempts to explain to Rey how he has lost faith in the Jedi, how they were wrong and arrogant in assuming that they owned the force and how their legacy is failure. In the prequels the Jedi were blinded by their own arrogance - they didn’t see how a powerful sith was taking control of the senate right under their noses. Lack of vision etc. Again - more hubris. They were too sure of themselves and that’s why they failed.

I find this pretty interesting. A lot of that is true, right?

I’m not surprised that Luke has gone this way and I just find it interesting from a character point of view.

Later, I’m not sure when, we get more info about what happened between Luke and Ben Solo (Kylo Ren).

The story is told 3 times, and each time you get a slightly different version of events.

First time is what Luke says to Rey.

He tells her that he sensed growing darkness in Ben and he went to see him during the night to try and reason with him, but Ben flew into a rage and pulled down the building on top of his head, and then destroyed the temple.

The second version of the story is what Kylo tells Rey during one of their ForceTime sessions. He tells her that Luke didn’t give the complete story and that Luke had come with his lightsabre to murder Kylo in his sleep.

A lot of fans can’t handle this and just believe that Luke would never do this and that their childhood is ruined and all that, but it’s not the final version of events.

The third version of the story is the true one.

Luke explains to Rey that he had become aware of a growing darkness in Ben and that he struggled with what to do about it. He went to Ben’s room in the night to read Ben’s mind and was so shocked by the darkness inside him that in a moment of compulsion he ignited his lightsabre in order to kill him and rid the galaxy of another possible evil tyrant, but that as soon as he ignited his sabre, he regretted the decision and realised that this meant killing his nephew, one of his students in a cowardly way. So he immediately changed his mind when he realised what he was doing.

I think this just gives Luke’s character more depth. Remember that he was the last jedi and perhaps he’d taken on too much in agreeing to train these young students. That’s a big job and perhaps he wasn’t really capable of doing it all on his own.

Maybe Yoda and Obiwan’s force ghosts hadn’t visited him for ages so he hadn’t had guidance from them.

As he said - he believed in his own legend and this was his failing. He took on too much and ultimately wasn’t able to handle the task of restarting the jedi order on his own, taking on his sister’s troubled son who was also incredibly powerful in the force but touched by the dark side and was already being manipulated and controlled by Snoke through the force. It was all too much for one guy.

I think there is a lesson here and that is that success can be very dangerous - in this case Luke had success in the fact that he helped to redeem Darth Vader and kill the emperor. This can lead to a false sense of confidence which can lead ultimately to failure. There’s a lot of that in this film. It’s tragic, but at least there’s more depth to it than just gymnastic lightsabre duels and “being badass”.

Anyway, Luke tells his story - of how he immediately changed his mind and was not going to kill Ben, but then Ben woke up and saw Luke standing over him with his ignited lightsabre and that’s when he pulled down the building on top of Luke and destroyed the temple. It’s a sort of misunderstanding that makes Ben think Luke really was going to kill him. In any case, Ben rejects Luke and he then probably gave his allegiance to Snoke.

Luke again tells Rey to get off the island. He’s gone there to die, etc.

This pushes Rey closer to Kylo who is the only one who seems to understand her. Will she turn to the dark side to be with him? Will he turn good? No idea.

Not sure of the chronology here.

At one point Rey visits the dark cave, like Luke does in Empire Strikes Back. This is a really cool and spooky sequence where she seems to see herself trapped in a time line or perhaps it’s just her reflection repeated again and again. She follows this line of reflections until she’s face to face with a mirror and she’s convinced that this will reveal the truth she’s been looking for - her parents. A dark figure approaches her in the mirror. Who is it? Luke? Snoke? Han? Leia? Another figure from Star Wars lore? In the end, she finds herself staring at her own reflection.

What does this mean? I guess it means that she’s on her own and her parents just aren’t important.

Also, at some point here, Luke decides to reconnect with the force. He sits on the stone altar on the clifftop and meditates. I think he makes a connection with Leia, who is in her coma. I think this is where Luke realises a lot of things - but it’s not actually shown in the film. By reconnecting with the force here, I think he gets strength from his renewed connection with Leia, realises that there is something he can do. Basically, by reconnecting with the force he realises his power and perhaps his hope again, or realises the importance of Rey. I’m not sure.

Rey and Kylo have a Forcetime - again they’re getting closer to each other all the time. I think in this one Kylo is topless which kind of amps up the sexual tension between them. Rey seems to believe in Kylo more than she does in Luke at this point and she probably believes she can turn him to the light side of the force etc, but we still don’t really know how Kylo feels. He’s hard for us to read - he’s just blank and unreadable, which is a strength in terms of the acting performance. He could be a bit vulnerable, perhaps a bit lost, but possibly pure evil - we don’t really know!

They actually touch, and when they do Luke bursts into Rey’s hut and is shocked to discover them in contact, and he destroys the hut and breaks the connection.

Then there’s a sort of fight between Rey and Luke, where Rey demands to know if Luke really did try to kill Kylo, and she attacks him with her staff, and Luke defends himself with a stick and disarms her. To me this looks like he’s still training her. When he disarms her, she force grabs the blue lightsabre and appears to have beaten Luke who kind of falls to the ground and gives up - but if you watch closely we see his hand is raised and I’m sure that he could have summoned his green lightsabre whenever he wanted in order to defend himself. I think he let Rey get the better of him.

This is when he confesses that he did momentarily contemplate killing Ben, but that he instantly changed his mind. So - just to set the record straight on this, Luke was not going to kill Ben in his sleep. The idea flashed across his mind when he saw that Snoke had turned him to the dark side, but he instantly changed his mind. I say that because a lot of the hardcore fans have lost faith in this film because they thought Luke was going to murder a child in his sleep - he wasn’t.

Rey then decides to leave the island in order to go to Kylo because she believes she can turn him. Luke says “No, it won’t go the way you think”. It’s a bit like that moment in Empire Strikes Back when Luke goes to confront Vader but Yoda tells him he’s not ready yet.

Rey is delivered to Kylo Ren in an escape pod from the Millenium Falcon and then we get one of my favourite moments in the film. Kylo puts Rey in handcuffs and on the way to Snoke’s throne room they have a conversation.

She explains that she’s confident Kylo will turn to the light because she’s had a vision.

But Kylo explains that he’s also had a vision that Rey will turn to the dark.

I suspected that Kylo would turn to the light, because there was more evidence for it.
I didn’t really believe Rey would turn to the dark side, but there were a few things that suggested that she could - e.g. she was drawn to the dark side during her vision while training with Luke.

She is pretty impulsive and often strikes out in anger, it seems - and that’s often the way towards the dark side.

Then the doors open and Rey meets Snoke for the first time.

Meanwhile, Luke goes to destroy the Force Tree and the ancient Jedi texts.

Yoda appears and stops him.

It’s wonderful to see Yoda again.

He’s not CGI Yoda, it’s puppet Yoda.

They actually used the original mould from Return of the Jedi.

It works.

Basically, he tells Luke that this is all a lesson and that Luke is a good master because he is teaching Rey the value of failure.

“The greatest teacher, failure is.” - he says. Apparently Yoda still hasn’t perfected his grammar, despite failing to speak it correctly for probably about 900 years or something.

Anyway, it’s a good lesson and it brings some redemption to Luke - who feels like he’s a lost cause. Everyone has to fail and it’s your failures that help you to improve. Success brings over-confidence and arrogance sometimes, whereas failure and accepting your failures brings us opportunities to learn.

It’s true for learning English too - our failures are great learning opportunities. We have to say something wrong a few times before we can say it correctly. Expecting to get everything right first time is just unrealistic. Accept failure as the best way to learn, and not something to be ashamed of, you can overcome your problems and learn to be really strong.

Yoda then destroys the force tree and (apparently) the sacred Jedi texts, as if to say to Luke - yes, you’re right - let’s destroy the past and start again. Luke is shocked that Yoda has done this (and apparently force ghosts can summon lightning now in Star Wars - fair enough, we were looking for some new force abilities, right? Apparently force ghosts can interact with the real world now - ok, fine)

The tree burns, containing the books - and Luke says “But the sacred jedi texts!” and Yoda says “Read them have you? Page turners, they are not.” I laughed out loud at this line.

Yoda’s two lessons for Luke:

Failures are valuable learning experiences.
Students always grow beyond their masters.

Back to Snoke’s room.

Snoke reads Rey’s mind, plays around with her - she attempts to fight back several times - grabs her light sabre but snoke makes it fly around the room - she grabs Kylo’s light sabre and Snoke flings her around the room. He seems impressed with her tenacity and he actually says “such spunk!” which made me laugh, because… well the word “spunk”. Do you know what that means?

It’s a bit rude. Here are the two definitions.

Courage, bravery, strength of character.
Semen (offensive)

He means defintion 1, but still - it’s a bit creepy that Snoke gleefully talks about “spunk”. Snoke is a horrible, creepy old git.

He’s also really arrogant and wealthy - he wears a gold robe a bit like Hugh Hefner the playboy guy. He’s horrible. But the CGI motion capture is brilliant. He looks really realistic. Good job Andy Serkis and the special effects team.

Snoke then reads Rey’s mind. I think he was considering whether she could be turned to the dark side, perhaps to become his apprentice and replacement for Kylo. That’s often the way it goes - but he summarises that she’s too pure or can’t be turned or something. So, he decides that Kylo should kill her, perhaps to complete his training.

Meanwhile Kylo looks at the situation quite blankly except for subtle reactions and the movement of his eyes. It reminds me of how Vader observed the Emperor when he was attempting to turn Luke to the dark side. We suspected that Vader was loyal in his heart to Luke. Similarly, I suspect that Kylo hates Snoke and feels resentment towards how manipulative he is, and we suspect that Kylo has feelings for Rey or at least believes that Rey might join him somehow. I wonder if this is a romantic feeling or a strategic one.

Snoke orders Kylo to kill Rey, and we still don’t know what Kylo is thinking. Rey looks up at him and simply says “Ben” - appealing to his good side.

At this point Snoke gets really carried away, proclaiming that he can see Kylo’s thoughts and that Kylo is turning his lightsabre and is going to ignite it in order to kill his true enemy.

But secretly Kylo is using the force to turn Luke Skywalker’s lightsabre which is sitting on the table next to Snoke, and as Snoke is convinced that he’s seeing Kylo’s intentions to kill Rey, perhaps he’s not seeing it clearly and in fact Kylo ignites Luke’s lightsabre killing Snoke.

I found this really surprising and satisfying. The look on Snoke’s face - he’s so shocked! It’s also a really well-directed sequence.

The lightsabre stabs Snoke in the side and then we see the scene from Kylo’s point of view, and Kylo pulls the sabre towards him, cutting Snoke in half! The ignited sabre flies through the air and Rey’s hand comes up to grab it.

Rey stands and for a moment Kylo and her face each other and we wonder whether Kylo is going to attack her, or what will happen...

Then everything goes in slow motion as Rey and Kylo, are attacked by 8 Praetorian guards and they fight back to back on the same side against the guards.

This is an absolutely wicked sequence. The guards are fantastic. They wear this weird red armour which appears to be able to deflect some lightsabre blows. They also have different weapons - swords, staffs, a sort of whip that becomes a sword. It all happens incredibly quickly and the screen is filled with several fights at the same time. Sparks fly, Rey screams and roars as she fights, Kylo’s fighting style is brutal and sketchy. It’s raw power.

At one point the wall catches fire and in the middle of the fight the room starts buring down. One of the guards gets thrown into some kind of fan unit and gets chopped into pieces. It all happens incredibly quickly and intensely.

Rey also has some good moves. Again - I don’t know how she learned to fight like this. Let’s just say that growing up on a rough junk planet like Jakku meant that she had to learn how to defend herself, add to that the fact that she’s obviously gifted with force abilities and has had some light sabre fighting experience now - she’s also brave and intelligent.

The two of them manage to fight off the guards and defeat them, but it’s not easy. At one point it looks like they’ve been beaten. Kylo is unarmed, Rey is held by one of the guards, but she manages to get out of it by dropping her lightsabre, getting out of the guard’s grip and then catching the sabre again in mid air before dispatching the guard.

Kylo is still being held by the last guard, who is kind of strangling him. Rey quickly throws her sabre to Kylo who catches it and ignites it instantly, sending the beam through the guards face, who drops away, dead.

What I like about this moment is that Kylo catches the lightsabre, ignites it, lets the guard drop and steps forward and he never takes his eyes of Rey at any point, and never blinks.

Then, still staring intensely at Rey he steps forward. Rey tells him there’s still time and that they can save the Resistance. She assumes he’s turned good, but he hasn’t.

He tells Rey they should let the past die and start anew - kill Snoke, kill Skywalker, let the Resistance die.

Rey is sort of heartbroken and just says “Ben, don’t do this”.

He also tells her who her parents are - I guess he saw it in a vision or something. He says that they were junk traders who just sold her off as a slave for money and that now they’re dead and buried in the desert. “You’re nobody, nothing…” “but not to me”.

He begs Rey to join her, but she’s heartbroken and won’t do it.

She sees that Kylo is beyond redemption at this point. I think Kylo has crossed a line and he’s the new Snoke. All these changes of position happen really fast. Surely, this is the interesting part of this film - what is really going on in Kylo’s head? Will he go good or bad? In Return of the Jedi we have similar questions about Darth Vader and ultimately he turns good, but in this one Kylo doesn’t. He’s the bad guy. He wants to kill her friends and he’s being very manipulative. He might be lying about her parents, even though she says she’s always known deep down that they abandoned her. But maybe he’s lying or something. Perhaps we’ll see.

Or perhaps her lineage isn’t important and it doesn't matter what your family connections are. Anyone can be strong in the force.

She goes to grab Luke’s lightsaber from Kylo and it ends up suspended mid air between them as they both struggle to grab it. The lightsabre explodes.

In the film this part of the story is told in parallel with the other parts which I haven’t mentioned yet - namely the Finn and Rose storyline and the Poe/Admiral Holdo storyline.

Finn and Rose storyline.

Finn is going to escape and find Rey. Rose stops him. They work out together (cheesily) that the hyperspace tracking can be stopped if they disarm it from the lead ship. Finn has intel on the location of the tracker and they work out that they can get in and disable it, and save the Resistance. It’s surely a suicide mission.

Poe agrees, and they call Maz Kanata for info.

Maz Kanata is a crap character, isn’t she? A sort of vague orange Yoda who isn’t as interesting as Yoda.

A complex and contrived plot is set up where Finn and Rose have to meet a code breaker who can help them access Snoke’s ship (is it Snoke’s ship or another ship - not sure).

So they head to Canto Bite.

“The worst type of people”

Just park on the beach - bad move. But these kids don’t really know what they’re doing.

A bit like the Cantina Bar but everyone’s rich.

Weird horse things on a racetrack, they’re looked after by slave kids.

Rose hates the town.

Little drunk creature putting coins inside BB8.

They get caught and thrown in jail. Pretty rubbish.

Then Benicio Del Toro’s character turns up in the film.

He’s great. I’ve always liked him in films. He’s an “engaging screen presence” to quote Mark Kermode.

He overhears them discussing their plan and says he can get them in the room on the FO ship.

Somehow he has a way to pick the lock and get out, and with BB8’s help they get away, so do Finn and Rose who escape on the horses, which smash up the casino resort before being released into the forest. This is a bit cheesy and feels a bit like a “message” about animal cruelty.

I love animals, so fair enough - but it’s a very Disney moment. Anyway, DJ turns up in a ship with BB8 and they get rescued, and the fly towards the FO ship for their mission, which is to go undercover and turn off the hyperspace tracking, while the Resistance are still running away from the FO and slowly running out of fuel.

DJ is an interesting character. He’s one of those ones who exists in the moral grey area between the good and bad sides, a bit like Boba Fett and even Han Solo at the start of Episode 4.

I think this gives some much needed moral ambiguity.

Also, he shows us that the rich people on Canto Bite make their money making and selling weapons to the FO and the Resistance. This adds a bit of complexity to the whole “intergalactic war thing” which underpins this whole series of films, and just shows that there’s more to this than just good guys vs bad guys - there’s a whole industry behind these wars that makes some people really rich. I think for some fans this is a bit too political for Star Wars, which is ironic considering how politics were involved so much in the prequel films.

They make it onto the Supremacy (I think) and go undercover.

BB8 disguises himself as one of those little black droids - a “mouse” droid I think they’re called.

He’s disguised as one of them by hiding under a black dustbin as far as I can see.

Amazingly nobody really notices them, including Finn who surely is a famous traitor by now …

I say nobody notices them, actually an evil black version of BB8 does notice them. I love this evil BB8. He’s actually called BB9-E and it’s interesting how just a few changes in design makes this little droid instantly evil looking. I think I heard Mark Hamill talking about this in an interview - just a few changes - make the droid black, with a different shaped head and it just screams “Nazi!” It does look like a nazi version of BB8. Also, they manage to endow him with a lot of menace and malice. His red eye narrows with suspicion when he sees Rose, Finn, DJ and BB8.

Long story short - they get to the tracker and it turns out that DJ has set them up - he betrayed them and he betrays the whole Resistance and their plan to escape to Crait because the FO offered him loads of money. Finn gets angry and calls him a traitor I think, or says something like “They’re the bad guys” - and DJ says something along the lines of “Good guys, bad guys, what’s the difference. They blow you up today, you blow them up next time…”

I find his cynicism and pragmatism to be refreshing and interesting in the context of this binary good guys vs bad guys conflict. This is a really enjoyable bit of ambiguity and I really hope we see Benicio Del Toro’s character again.

Perhaps the most interesting moments in all of Star Wars are the moments when there’s moral ambiguity - like the character of Boba Fett who is only interested in self-preservation and money, or the moments when Luke Skywalker appears to drift towards the dark side slightly in order to achieve things - specifically when defeating Darth Vader, or when Anakin/Vader goes dark and then light at the end. These are the interesting moments and DJ is an example of that.

So, Finn & Rose are caught, The Resistance are screwed…

Some people complain that the Finn and Rose storyline doesn’t achieve anything. But that’s the whole point - it’s another lesson in failure. Sometimes characters fail in films - it’s boring if they just succeed every single time - and anyway the Resistance were always the underdogs and Finn and Rose were never going to succeed with this plan anyway - it’s was a suicide mission. They’re lucky that they got this far.

Back to what’s happening with The Resistance fleet.

Leia is in a coma, Holdo takes over. Poe disagrees with her strategy - which appears to be just to jump ship and escape the fleet. He thinks it won’t work and it’s cowardly. He attempts a mutiny but gets stunned by Leia who she comes back.

She uses a blaster set to stun. We haven’t seen this since episode 4 - blue rings firing out, rather than red or green laser blasts.

It turns out that Holdo’s plan is not to just escape the ship, but to evacuate to a nearby planet that they’ve been heading for.

Poe wasn’t aware of this because he was demoted.

They plan to escape to Crait where there’s an old rebel base. They can use that as a defensive fortress and can call for support from around the galaxy.

Just as well really, because Finn and Rose’s mission has failed.

Then we discover that DJ has told the FO about this plan to evacuate to Crait and the FO begin attacking the escape vehicles as they head towards Crait. The Resistance is screwed now.

Finn and Rose’s mission to stop the hyperspace tracking has failed and now the FO know about the other plan to escape to Crait and are blowing up the escape transports. Also, at this moment it looks like Rey is about to be executed by Kylo Ren.

Finn and Rose are about to be executed.

Oh yeah and Captain Phasma has turned up too - apparently she didn’t die in Episode 7.

She doesn’t really do much, except being Finn’s nemesis.

Leia and the rest of the Resistance have boarded the escape transports to Crait, but Holdo stays with the main fleet, and when she realises that the escape transports are being attacked she suddenly decides to sacrifice herself and aims the Raddus at The Supremacy (Snoke’s ship) and goes into hyperspace.

WOW - a really mind blowing moment and done really well because the Raddus enters hyperspace and flies at lightspeed through the Supremacy and a bunch of other FO ships causing massive damage and a huge explosion and it’s all done instantly and in total silence, followed by a really cool sound effect.

Silence used to great effect.

The explosion on The Supremacy gives Finn and Rose the chance to avoid being executed and they fight back against Captain Phasma and the storm troopers while the whole hangar bay explodes around them. There are tie fighters falling on the floor and blowing up, AT-AT walkers crashing here and there.

In the midst of all this chaos, Finn and Phasma have a battle and Finn fights with a lot of spirit. Rose shoots Phasma but the blast deflects off her armour. Cool moment.

Phasma appears to have the upper hand in the fight and knocks Finn into a lift shaft, but clearly Phasma hasn’t seen the Original Trilogy - we know that there are moving platforms that go up and down in these shafts and of course Finn hasn’t fallen to his death, he reappears and smashes Phasma in the face, cracking her mask. She says “You’ll always be scum” before falling into an explosion. I doubt that she’s dead. She’s bound to come back next time.

“Rebel scum” - this is the default insult for Rebels or Resistance fighters it seems. Scum is a bit like a dirty layer that floats on the top of old water or something. It’s just a generic insult, but it was used once in Return of the Jedi when an imperial officer said it to Han Solo and it sounded cool - so now the word is used a lot.

These films still trade a lot on nostalgia for the old films, and it works.

Finn and Rose manage to escape the burning ship - how? They’re rescued by BB8 driving a AT-ST “scout walker” thing, which made me go “Yeah, right?!” out loud in the cinema when I first saw it.

People complain that Rey’s character is too perfect and that she can do anything and that this is unrealistic and unfair and some sort of feminist agenda or something, but BB8 (and R2D2 for that matter) is also a perfect character who seems to be able to do anything. He takes out FO guards, he can pilot an AT-ST walker, he can get blown up and assemble himself again, he can fix any problem on an X-Wing - but nobody complains about that.

OK, so now the storylines come together.

The Resistance (Leia, Poe and the few remaining other people) make it to Crait and set up their base there. God knows why it takes the FO so long to attack them here, but it does. Maybe they needed a bit of time to set up all the awesome weaponry that they’re going to use to smash through this big door to this old Rebel base where The Resistance are hiding.

Finn and Rose escape The Supremacy with BB8 and join the Resistance on Crait.

The idea is that The Resistance can defend themselves here, call for help and then wait for the help to arrive.

The thing is, no help comes. None of their allies out in space care. No Lando Calrissian or anyone like that - nobody’s coming to help them. So it’s about a couple of hundred REsistance members vs the FO with their huge AT-M6 walkers.

They have trenches, with some defensive weapons and this huge reinforced door protecting them, and a few very sketchy looking ground fighters, and that’s it.

The FO have a massive battering ram cannon which is “Death Star technology” - basically a smaller version of the Death Star’s big green laser that can blow up planets. This is what they’ll use to break through the door.

The idea is that The Resistance need to somehow destroy the cannon if they stand a chance of surviving.

Now, what about Rey.

Last time we saw her she was locked in a tug of war with Kylo over Luke’s blue lightsabre, which caught in the middle between the two of them, explodes.

Apparently Kylo was knocked out by the explosion and Rey managed to escape in Snoke’s personal ship, and she took the fragments of the light sabre with her.

We see Snoke’s dead body, his tongue sticking out, lying on the floor. Also both his hands were severed when Kylo killed him - this is pretty neat because someone always gets their hand or hands removed in Star Wars films, in this case it was Snoke, but he also lost the whole top half of his body. I wonder if we’ll ever find out Snoke’s back story, but I guess we never learned The Emperor’s backstory in the original films, he was just a powerful old dark side user and that’s it. I think we probably knew more about him than Snoke though, and I admit that we could have used just a little bit more exposition about Snoke - just a bit of detail. I think the hardcore fans are very upset about this, because they spent 2 years coming up with very elaborate theories about his origin - like, he’s Mace Windu, or he’s Darth Plageius (The Emperor’s old master). It seems he’s not that important, and anyway we don’t need an origin story for everyone, do we? I expect there will be a book about him coming out or whatever.

Then General Hux comes into the room and can’t believe what he’s seeing - Snoke is dead, his tongue sticking out and everything. Kylo is still unconscious and Hux actually goes for his gun - he would have killed Kylo in his sleep probably - because they don’t like each other and Hux would probably like to take control of the FO, but Kylo wakes up. They argue and then Kylo force chokes Hux, which is very reminiscent of Darth Vader. Hux capitulates and calls Kylo “Supreme Leader” - “The Supreme Leader is dead - long live The Supreme Leader!” So, Kylo is in charge of the FO now.

So, the confrontation on Crait.

The FO approach the base with the big gun.

The Resistance launch a counter attack with these beaten up old speeder things. There’s almost no way they can win.

The Millennium Falcon turns up at the last minute and helps out by making all the Tie Fighters chase it. This is another big emotional moment, when the Falcon turns up to save the day - or save that particular moment anyway - the music swells (John Williams’ score is brilliant again) - there are some stunning visuals as the Falcon is chased by Tie Fighters through these crystal caves and tunnels under the surface of Crait.

But ultimately, the Resistance mission to destroy the battering ram cannon can’t win and Poe calls it off. This shows us that he’s learned something about leadership and strategy from the beginning of the film.

But Finn doesn’t want to give up and he’s about to sacrifice himself for the Resistance by flying his ship into the cannon in a suicide mission. I was convinced he was going to do it, but at the last minute Rose crashes into him and saves him.

This is a really cheesy moment I have to say.

First of all, you can see from the wide shots as Finn is flying that Rose is nowhere near him - but again, this is a bit like that moment with the detonator button that gets caught by Rose’s sister at the start of the film - movies often break the rules of physics like this - so I’m willing to let it slide. And then there’s the moment where after Rose saves Finn she gives a little speech saying “We don’t do this to destroy the things we hate, we do it to protect the ones we love,” and then she kisses him. So this is a slightly forced romantic moment first of all, but the sentiment is nice. We should protect the things we love rather than destroy the things we hate - and it’s all sweet and good and nice, but I thought about a moment from Episode 3 - a crucial moment when Anakin turns to the dark side. He decides to join Emperor Palpatine precisely because he thinks this is how he’s going to save the one he loves - Padme. He is seduced by the dark side because he wants to prevent Padme from dying. So, it’s all about point of view isn’t it.

Protecting what you love, destroying what you hate - they’re sort of two sides of the same coin aren’t they?

Still, I think the basic message is nice - love conquers hate. I do agree with that. Be careful of doing things for hateful reasons. We should be motivated by love, basically.

But isn’t this a slightly selfish thing for Rose to do? She stopped Finn from potentially saving the entire Resistance just because she personally loves him.

But maybe The Resistance were screwed anyway. I think the point is - we shouldn’t think about this toooooo much. We shouldn’t expect Star Wars to be this perfect flawless thing. As I said before, I think the good things in this film outweigh the bad things

But then again - if you’re angry about this Star Wars film, that’s fine - it’s up to you. I’m not going to tell you you’re wrong. Everyone has their own subjective reaction to the film.

So it looks like The Resistance are screwed then.

Somehow Finn manages to fly back to the base or perhaps even drag Rose back there - I’m not sure how, but I dunno, maybe he used some of those trenches or something, or maybe one of the crashed speeders still worked.

Leia looks defeated. She says that hope is lost.

But then Luke Skywalker turns up. There’s an emotional moment when he speaks to Leia - they agree that Kylo wasn’t Luke’s fault, and Luke comforts Leia by giving her a memento of Han Solo - a pair of dice that used to hang in the Millenium Falcon.

Luke then goes out to face the First Order armed with his Light Sabre.

When I saw this I was really excited and yet didn’t know what to expect. Luke said it himself that he couldn’t face the entire FO armed only with a laser sword.

Kylo, in his command ship, orders everyone to fire on Luke, using all their weapons.

The AT-M6 walkers all fire on Luke.

Kylo is enraged - shouting for more more more!

This really is overkill. There’s just a huge cloud of red dust where the lasers are firing.

Hux says “that’s enough” and the guns stop.

Kylo slumps in a seat. He should be satisfied, but he’s not. He’ll probably never be satisfied.

We’re all thinking - surely Luke isn’t dead! And of course he isn’t. He steps out of the cloud of red dust, unscathed. He looks up at Kylo’s ship and even brushes his shoulder dismissively, which is pretty cool.

There’s something strange about Luke. He looks younger. His beard and hair are shorter. He has no dust on him.

Kylo is furious again and instructs his soldiers to take him down to the surface to face Luke.

Kylo says “I suppose you’ve come here to save my soul”
Luke: No.

This was awesome, I can’t really explain why. Also, Mark Hamill in this film is absolutely brilliant. He’s really developed as an actor since the original trilogy.

He ignites his light sabre - and it’s the blue one. Weird, I thought the blue one got split in two when Kylo and Rey were fighting earlier. Kylo doesn’t seem to notice this because he’s in a rage.

He ignites his crackling red light sabre. I love Kylo’s brutal style and the way he stands sort of hunched over. Luke looks really cool in his classic Jedi clothing. Kylo runs at Luke and attacks him but Luke manages to avoid all his attacks. He does some pretty cool moves where he kind of rolls out of the way, making Kylo really angry.

This is not the epic gymnastic light sabre combat from the prequels. This is a lot more about the drama between the two characters. There’s a lot more emotion and feeling in this than in watching Anakin and Obiwan jumping from object to object swinging their lightsabres again and again until you’re emotionally uninvested in the action.

This is much more like a Japanese samurai movie, where the swordplay is brief but intense. In fact Luke looks a lot like a samurai in this scene and that is fantastic. So atmospheric and powerful.

An interesting detail in this fight is that Kylo’s feet leave red marks on the floor where the salt gets disturbed, but Luke’s feet make no impressions on the floor at all. Apparently you can also see salt particles falling from Kylo during the fight, but nothing falling from Luke. Only later do we realise that Luke isn’t really there at all - he’s doing a force projection from Ahch-to and it’s all part of a plan to mentally defeat Kylo while giving the remaining members of the Resistance a chance to escape.

Luke tells Kylo - “today the Resistance is reborn and you can never defeat me.”

He also does some Obiwan Kenobi stuff to him, saying “If you strike me down in anger I’ll always be with you, just like your father.” That’s got to hurt!

Kylo angrily charges at him and swipes his lightsabre at Luke but the blade passes straight through his body.

At the time I was thinking - wow, has Luke been hiding his power all this time? Is he immune to lightsabres? Then I thought, oh wow he’s a force ghost!

Then it’s revealed that the real Luke is meditating on a rock in Ach-to. This whole thing is a force projection!

Luke then says to Kylo - “see you around kid.” and disappears. That’s a Han Solo quote too!

I think what this means is that Luke is going to haunt Kylo as a force ghost - he’s always going to be there and Kylo will never have peace, he’ll always be reminded of how he murdered his own father.

Then Luke disappears and Kylo is in a rage again.

What I like about this:

We don’t get a big light sabre duel, but that makes a change - at least we have some really interesting character-based interaction.
Luke manages to teach Kylo a lesson without using violence.
He only uses defence.
He defeats Kylo mentally.
He sacrifices himself to save the Resistance.
He shows Rey that the force isn’t just about lifting rocks, controlling people’s actions or being really good with a lightsabre - it’s also about introspection and peace.
Also, I like the fact that in the midst of all this fighting, explosions - Luke has learned how to win a battle without using violence.
In fact, I respect Luke’s decision to just go on an island to live like a hermit. At least he’s decided that he’s fed up with the incessant fighting and war. He’s perhaps the only character to say that he’s had enough of the fighting - and isn’t this a sort of logical progression of what he learned while facing the emperor in Episode 6. He threw his lightsabre away and refused to fight or give in to his anger because he is a Jedi.
Don’t blame Luke for choosing to go to that island and for feeling like a failure - he was actually just trying his best to prevent any further catastrophe.
This feels like the true way of the Jedi - from a certain point of view.

Also, he’s demonstrating incredible force power by doing this projection. This is something new that we haven’t seen before. Again, some people are pissed off with this saying “That’s not how the force works!” but honestly I’m glad that we’re seeing some new force powers in this film. It’s about time we had some slightly new things.

By doing this, Luke also manages to create the myth of Luke Skywalker, which will no-doubt be told again and again. He’s accepted his place as a myth and how important and powerful this can be as a way of inspiring new generations to have hope. This is beautiful. Luke has always been a symbol of hope, but he’s a fallible human who couldn’t always live up to his own myth, but he manages at the end to do it in his own way according to how he understands the light side of the force - using defence not attack, without using violence, fighting a mental battle.

Then on Ach-To we see Luke collapse from the strain of doing this massive force projection. He climbs back up onto the rock and stares out across the ocean at the sunset, and it’s two suns.

This made me cry! I couldn’t help it. It just took me straight back to the moment in Episode 4 when Luke was not much more than a boy staring across the desert at the dual sunset - full of aspiration and dreaming of adventure, and that’s how he ends his life. I can’t put it into words really, but this got me right in the feelings. It’s pretty ridiculous I know, but there it is.

Luke then disappears in the same way Obiwan did and Yoda did. He becomes one with the force.

I guess this means that he’ll be back as a force ghost in episode 9. Good - I really like Mark Hamill and I hope to see more from him.

Meanwhile, the last remaining members of the Resistance have worked out that there must be a way to get out through the back of the caves by following the crystal foxes that live there. There’s quite a magical moment where one of the beautiful crystal foxes leads them to a gap at the back, but it’s filled with boulders.

Rey is on the other side - she’s used the tracking device to follow their position from the surface, in the Falcon with Chewie.

She works out that the pile of boulders is blocking them from escaping and she’s going to need to use the force to move them all.

This is a bit ironic because earlier in the film Luke told her that the force isn’t about lifting rocks! But apparently sometimes it is! Of course she manages to lift all the rocks, freeing the last remaining members of the Resistance and they escape in the Falcon. There must be just about 10 people left! But Leia says they have all they need to start again. They’re the spark that will light the fire to burn the First Order down, etc.

We see also that Rey has managed to keep the sacred jedi texts - they’re in a drawer on the falcon. So I suppose this means she can learn the ways of the Jedi properly and maybe she’ll get some help from Luke’s force ghost.

Kylo and Rey have one more force vision before the Falcon leaves. They stare at each other and Rey closes the door - signifying that she’s closing herself off from him, I suppose. But surely the interesting thing going forward will be their relationship. Will she be able to turn him back to the light, or defeat him somehow? Will Kylo turn her to the dark somehow? What’s going to happen to Kylo? I quite like the idea that he’ll be haunted by Luke - a bit like the way Macbeth is haunted by his friend Banquo in the Shakespeare play Macbeth.

In the final scene of the film we see some of the slave kids on Canto Bight - one of them is telling the others the legend of Luke Skywalker - him standing up against the entire First Order. It reminds me of how C3P0 tells the Ewoks the story of the rebellion. The other children are enthralled by the story and seem genuinely inspired. This shows that the legend of Luke Skywalker gives hope to the next generation.

Then the kids are told off by their cruel slave owner boss type guy and one of the kids goes out to sweep the yard. He grabs the broom using a force pull - showing that he is force sensitive, and then he looks up at the stars and sees a distant spacecraft fly across the sky. The End!

I suppose this scene means that:
Anyone can be strong in the force - you don’t have to be part of a specific bloodline
Luke’s legend is an inspiration to the poor, lost or forgotten people
The Resistance is not dead and there’s still hope left in the galaxy
That’s a nice message isn’t it?

So in summary, I found The Last Jedi to be bold in the way it refuses to pander to the fan theories and expectations, brave in the way it pushes the saga forwards by doing some new things and letting some old things die, nuanced in the way it allowed the characters to develop in complex and quite flawed ways, fun in how it included some pretty weird comic moments and just awesome in the way it dealt with several key moments of action that were fuelled more by emotion than by technical skill. I think it’s an intelligent film, a surprising film, it’s one of my favourite Star Wars episodes and I’m looking forward to seeing it again so I can pick up on some more of the subtle details that made it enjoyable.

I have no idea how episode 9 is going to carry on - and I like that feeling.

Apparently JJ Abrams is going to conclude the saga by directing episode 9. JJ is obviously a very competent filmmaker and someone who understands the core appeal of Star Wars but I’m also a little bit worried because JJ has an approach to making films that involves posing lots of mysterious open ended questions rather than by providing satisfying resolutions. Think of Lost, the TV show - it was brilliant at setting up lots of questions and mysteries that kept the audience guessing, but none of those questions and mysteries were adequately explained in the end. I just hope that episode 9 can at least bring some resolution to the story, rather than just leaving it all open to the interpretations of the slightly unhinged fanbase.

I look forward to reading your opinions if you have them.

Jan 11, 2018
503. My Review of Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Part 1)
01:07:42

Talking about the new Star Wars film including the audience reaction, English accents you can hear in Star Wars, and a run-through of the plot with my thoughts about the events and characters. Plot spoilers throughout the episode! Transcript available (below).

Episode page: https://wp.me/p4IuUx-87f 

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Transcript (95% complete)

This episode is all about Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Some of this stuff that I’m saying is scripted, some parts are not - but if you want to read along with me while I’m talking, which can be a great way to work on your English, see specific phrases I’m using and so on - if you want to read along with me, check out the page for this episode on my website.

In fact there will be two episodes about Star Wars. This one, which is just me talking about the film, going through the plot, giving my thoughts and discussing the audience reactions to the film, and also the next one, which will be a conversation about the film with my brother and my dad. We went to see the film together while they were here at Christmas time and afterwards I managed to record a conversation with the them and you can hear their reactions and some general rambling about it - that’ll be in the next episode.

So, at least 2 episodes about Star Wars. I was wondering if I should devote so much time to this, especially considering that some of you probably aren’t into Star Wars at all. Then I thought to myself - “Well, how do I choose my topics when I know that I can’t please everyone?” Often the deciding factor is - do I want to talk about it myself? Would I want to listen to it? The answer to those questions is yes. When I came out of the cinema in December having just seen this film I just wanted to hear other people’s comments about the film, and I looked for podcasts about it and youtube videos and stuff, and if I was learning English I would definitely like to hear someone talking about this film in English. Certainly for my ideal learning French podcast I would want to hear someone discussing the film in some depth in clear French - I am still yet to find this elusive perfect French version of Luke’s English podcast! And also, you know what? I just really want to talk about Star Wars for a while just because it pleases me to do it. So there you go, that’s my justification for doing these episodes.

SPOILERS

There are spoilers for the film throughout this episode - so if you haven’t seen The Last Jedi yet, you might want to wait before you listen to this. I’m pretty sure the film has been out for a while in most places. I understand that it came out in China on 5 January - a bit later than in other countries. So I think there’s been enough time now for me to do some spoilers.
If you’re not a fan of Star Wars (which is totally fine of course), I understand that this might not be for you. I don’t expect everyone to be into Star Wars - it’s just something I’ve always enjoyed since childhood. So if you’re just not a Star Wars fan - I totally understand, but you’ll just have to put up with an episode or two about Star Wars this time, or you can just skip them - it’s totally up to you.

If you want to listen to something else from me, like perhaps an episode about vocabulary, or an episode with various jokes, an episode with a mystery adventure story or an episode with grammar and pronunciation questions answered - let me remind you that you can download the LEP App completely free and there you will find at least 7 exclusive app-only episodes that deal with those things specifically.

Just check out the app store, download the LEP app, check the App-Only Episodes category and away you go.

And of course you have the entire episode archive there which you can peruse at your leisure.
But for this one and the next one, it’s all about Star Wars - and if you are a fan, I hope you will enjoy being immersed in the world of Star Wars The Last Jedi for a couple of episodes.
Let me say again very clearly there will be spoilers coming as I am going to talk about exactly what happens in The Last Jedi in quite a lot of detail. Please don’t let me spoil this film for you - even if you’re keen to listen to this new episode I strongly recommend that you wait until you’ve seen the film first.

So, perhaps the people I have left with me now are:
Fans of Star Wars who have already seen the film.
And maybe some other LEPsters who might not be big fans of Star Wars but are just happy to listen to me talking about it, even if it includes plot spoilers.

I should also say that I might lose some more of you when I say that I really liked Star Wars The Last Jedi - not everything, but on the whole I really enjoyed the film and I feel like the good things definitely outweigh the bad things.

I have seen it twice now, and so there’s always a chance that I might change my opinion after seeing it a third time, but I don’t think so.

I said I might lose some more of you when I say that I enjoyed this film and that is because the response to this film has been very divided. Plenty of people like it a lot but having said that plenty of people dislike and even hate this film.

This reaction mainly comes from so-called “hardcore fans” online who are posting very negative reviews on YouTube as well as on film review websites like IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes.
But I’m quite a hardcore fan and I loved it.

In terms of my fandom, here is a summary. I grew up with the films. Watched the original trilogy over and over again throughout my life. Watched ROTJ in the cinema. As a teenager I used to have lots of fun speculating about the backstory of certain characters and so on. As a child I used to think I was Luke Skywalker, as I’ve said in previous episodes. I was quite obsessive about it growing up. In the 90s and 2000s I saw the prequel films and was disappointed by them. I found them to be badly written and directed, with pretty bland characters and too much CGI. Not everything was bad about the prequels - I like the Darth Maul scenes, the pod-race, the scenes between Obi Wan Kenobi and Jango Fett but that might be it I think. I found the rest of it to be more like a Saturday morning cartoon in places.

More recently I saw reviews of the prequel trilogy on YouTube that cemented my opinion of those films as being rubbish. I’m talking about Mr Plinkett’s reviews, by RedLetterMedia.

Very astute criticisms of the prequels, with some twisted humour thrown in.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that the prequel trilogy “ruined my childhood” as some fans have said (and are also saying about The Last Jedi). I think if your childhood can be ruined by a fantasy film that you watch as an adult, then perhaps your childhood was already quite flimsy in the first place. What this phrase really means is that the films spoil the Star Wars franchise, which was such a key part of your upbringing… Anyway, the prequels didn’t ruin my childhood but they did disappoint me a bit.

Then it was announced that more Star Wars movies would be released, after Lucasfilm was taken over by Disney. 2 years ago The Force Awakens was released and I really enjoyed it, even if it was very derivative of the original Star Wars films (episode 4). It basically copied the plot of Episode 4 - but I’m alright with that. I thought it was done in a way that was far closer to the original spirit and aesthetic of Star Wars and that was really pleasing. Also they introduced a few new characters that was interesting.

Also, in 2015 Rogue One was released - a film set just before Episode 4. This was a sort of war movie inspired episode that didn’t have any Jedi or lightsabers, but told the story of how the rebels managed to get the plans to destroy the Death Star. I really enjoyed that too! It feels like Star Wars is good again.

I love reading about fan theories and speculations on forums (like Star Wars Leaks on Reddit) and I do watch lots of dumb YouTube speculation videos about Star Wars, and there were a lot of them released onto YouTube before The Last Jedi came out.
But I like to think that I have my fandom under control. I love the world of Star Wars and I feel invested in the stories, but I try not to expect too much from the films. I remember the prequel trilogy - I used to get my hopes up really high before each film was released and I was disappointed each time.

Also, I know that your enjoyment of these films is largely a question of taste and a question of subjective experience. What makes a bad film for some people makes a good film for others.

The relationship between the fans of Star Wars and the films is very complicated. A lot of people feel very personally invested in this franchise. The fans feel that they own the franchise or that it represents their own personal life, childhood, dreams, imagination and everything.

It’s strange how Star Wars can do that. When it is at its best it manages to touch people in the most personal and profound ways. Also, the level of speculation and theorising among the fans has created such massive expectation from the films that it’s almost impossible to please everyone now, and when a film fails to meet people’s specific vision for the story and characters it can feel like a very personal disappointment.

But I think some fans are expecting too much from Star Wars now. They’ve put it on a pedestal - which is a way of saying that they expect it to be perfect and to live up to their highest expectations all the time. But it’s just a movie franchise and to an extent it’s a children’s movie franchise. I think some people just need to chill out a bit and stop expecting so much from the films. Saying that, there is bound to be someone out there listening to me who disagrees, who says I’m being an apologist, who says there’s no excuse for what they’ve done.
When I read some of the negative reactions, I honestly think - “did we see the same film?” Some people are so angry! It makes me wonder if perhaps there are other things going on, like that these people are not just angry with the film, but they’re angry with what they see as a certain political agenda being expressed through the film. This probably feeds into the ongoing saga of the war between right-wing people (who don’t say they’re right wing) and what they describe as liberal social justice warriors. I see these arguments all the time online in comments sections and so on. The angry ones (whatever their political position) get furious when there’s a suggestion that a film is being used to promote feminism, or to promote ethnic diversity or perhaps animal welfare or environmental issues. A hint of this in a film makes some people really mad. There’s a bit of this in The Last Jedi - some strong female characters, black, asian and hispanic actors in prominent roles, a storyline about animal cruelty… Part of the hatred aimed at SW is fuelled by this stuff.

But also, some people don’t like it because they think it’s bad storytelling, and because of the way some characters are dealt with - particularly Luke Skywalker. A lot of people can’t stand the way he is represented in the film.

Added to that, there’s the humour. Some people have really taken against the moments of humour which they think don’t fit in with the tone of the film as a whole or the whole franchise in general.

I’m talking there about some reasons why the film is disliked by some people - but not everyone of course. Plenty of people like or love this film too although it’s hard to tell what the overall audience reaction has been. I think it’s fair to say that the film is dividing people, particularly the more serious fans.

I don’t know what you thought of The Last Jedi. There are some pretty strong feelings out there. You might disagree with me when I say I like it, but I hope you hear me out on this. Of course the film is not 100% perfect or anything but generally I think there is a great deal to be enjoyed about it.

Story recap

I’d like to now go through the film from start to finish, describe what happens and give my thoughts on each part.
You remember the numbers don’t you?
OT - Original Trilogy (4, 5, 6)
PT - Prequel Trilogy (1, 2, 3)
ST - Sequel Trilogy (7, 8, 9)
Also Rogue One that fits in before episode 4.

The Force Awakens
The Resistance are searching for Luke Skywalker because they need his help. There’s a missing piece of a map hidden inside the droid BB8.
A scavenger girl called Rey finds the droid.
Han Solo and Princess Leia had a son who turned to the dark side.

The Last Jedi - Opening Crawl

How did it feel in the cinema at this point?
I was trying to keep my expectations realistic. I thought - if I expect too much from this I might be disappointed. It’s just a film and ultimately it’s just a space fantasy. It seems silly to invest so much into it.

Having said that, I was really looking forward to getting stuck into some new Star Wars and I had no idea what was coming.

The Lucasfilm logo appeared and I was really trying to just stay calm but I have to admit it was difficult. I felt really nervous.

Star Wars logo + music and I was already getting chills and started welling up. I know it’s a bit pathetic or something, but there it is. Somehow these films just take me directly back to my childhood. It’s like stepping back in time and going straight back to my living room when I was 7 years old and my Dad was younger than I am now and I’d never had any real experiences, I’d never left home, never had my heart broken, never fallen in love…
I was a bit emotional during this film. I just can’t help it. Also bear in mind that I was watching this while fully expecting my wife to give birth to our baby at any moment. I literally had my phone in my hand and every single vibration I expected was a text from my wife saying that her water had broken. Anyway, I was feeling very emotionally susceptible while watching the film, which is fine - I’m in touch with my feelings, there’s nothing wrong with that, is there?
The opening crawl started and it’s impossible not to get excited by this, if you’re a Star Wars fan. For some reason I can never really read it and take it in.

Episode VIII
THE LAST JEDI
The FIRST ORDER reigns.
Having decimated the peaceful
Republic, Supreme Leader Snoke
now deploys his merciless
legions to seize military
control of the galaxy.

Only General Leia Organa's
band of RESISTANCE fighters
stand against the rising
tyranny, certain that Jedi
Master Luke Skywalker will
return and restore a spark of
hope to the fight.

But the Resistance has been
exposed. As the First Order
speeds toward the Rebel base,
the brave heroes mount a
desperate escape....

The First Order are now in complete control of the galaxy after having blown up the republic with Starkiller Base.

The Resistance are on the run, escaping from their base. The First Order are closing in, with vastly superior weaponry, ships, and so on.
They blow up the base as remaining resistance ships escape, but they’re being pursued by a First Order fleet.

In an effective but costly counterattack led by Poe Dameron, Resistance fighters manage to destroy a First Order dreadnought.
One of the FO officers is played by Ade Edmondson, and all the Brits are delighted.

Admiral Hux is played by Domhnall Gleeson, Irish actor. He really “hams it up”.

First bit of controversial humour. “Holding for Admiral Hugs” etc.
FO officers are pretty incompetent and Gleeson plays a lot of his scenes for laughs - it’s a completely over the top performance. Old fashioned RP, and general frothing at the mouth.

A note about accents:
In SW almost all the Imperial Officers have old fashioned heightened RP accents. This is because this is the accent that Americans associate with an evil old empire - because the British Empire was an evil old empire for the USA. This association still exists - more so in the 70s but still today. Also, it means stuffy formality.
Obi Wan Kenobi also had an old school English accent, but that was to suggest that he came from an era that no longer exists - the old republic. It just fits the character. His British accent gives him class, dignity and suggests that he is more than just a “crazy old man”.
Vader also had a bit of an RP British accent, but this gradually changed into a trans-atlantic American accent. Still old fashioned and formal in tone, but a bit American. That’s just because the voice actor - James Earl Jones - was a classically trained American actor. These great actors really brought a lot of weight and class to the original films and this was repeated in the prequel trilogy. They chose more well trained British actors because they have class. This includes people like Terence Stamp.

In this sequel trilogy (ST), accents are also used to create certain feelings and associations with the characters. The FO officers still speak in old fashioned RP in order to give that sense of old empire (think of the naval officers in Pirates of the Caribbean who speak in a similarly old fashioned way). Supreme Leader Snoke speaks in formal British RP. We don’t know much about him (and I’ll come to that in a bit) but basically he’s a bit like the Emperor - probably very old and powerful and he is the Supreme Leader of the First Order so of course he has the old fashioned English RP accent.

Most of the other characters speak American English though, and this seems to be the default accent for “ordinary person” in the Star Wars universe. This includes Han Solo - a kind of cowboy smuggler flyboy kind of guy, and Luke Skywalker- just a farmer from a desert planet. Nobody special (or at least that is the background he has come from).
Also, most of the new characters speak with standard American accents - Finn is just an ordinary guy - quite a low level person since he used to be just a stormtrooper and he speaks with an American accent, although the actor is actually from Peckham in South London. Apparently he auditioned in his normal voice but it just didn’t feel right. He auditioned in an American accent and it just fit the character better. Poe Dameron also has a standard American accent. As I said - ordinary people, rebels, not part of the empire.

But then there’s Rey. She speaks with quite a posh English accent, although not in the formal way that the FO officers speak. She is definitely just a normal person too, and according to this film she is nobody special (unless this is just a trick and in episode 9 they will reveal something special about her, but I don’t think so - again, more on this later). So why does she have this English RP accent? I don’t really know! Perhaps the actress doesn’t do a very good American accent and this is just her normal voice. Perhaps they just wanted to arouse our interest in this character by giving her a distinctive and classy voice, like Obi Wan Kenobi. The fans certainly took this point as a big clue about her origins. A lot of people believed that because she is force sensitive and speaks in a posh English accent that she must be related to other force users with this accent like Obi Wan Kenobi or perhaps even Emperor Palpatine. There are other details that support these fan theories. But apparently her accent doesn’t mean this. But still, it’s interesting to note that although she grew up on an insignificant planet and lived as a scavenger for all her life, she still speaks with quite a posh English accent, when all the people around her on her home planet of Jakku don’t have the same accent. Her slave owner for example (because in TFA she appears to be basically a slave or at least someone who works for food rations rather than money) - her master or boss speaks with a working class cockney English accent.

Just a note on accents there. Next time you watch these films in English, think about that.


Back to the plot.


The Resistance avoid getting blown up by the First Order ships - massive battleships called Dreadnaughts.
Poe Dameron bravely and recklessly flies right up to the FO dreadnaught and does some Top Gun style maverick moves, taking out lots of gun turrets and generally being a brilliant pilot. He clears the way for the Resistance bombers.
WW2 style bombers.
Star Wars always took inspiration from WW2 films.
The bombers are laden with cool-looking round black bombs.
Some people say “but there’s no gravity in space!” - but this is Star Wars not Star Trek. It’s fantasy, not science fiction. If your argument is that it doesn’t make scientific sense then sorry, that’s a bit invalid considering Star Wars has never stood up to scientific scrutiny. It’s an emotional character driven fable set in space in a galaxy far far away a long time ago. It’s more like a greek myth or an episode of Flash Gordon than 2001 A Space Odyssey.
There are some classic moments of Star Wars fighter combat in space, including a fat guy with a beard who instantly dies. This is something that happens in so many Star Wars films, beginning with Episode 4 when a fat bearded pilot called Porkins dies, and it happens again in Episode 7 I think, and then here we go again - a fat bearded pilot buys the farm almost instantly. It’s a running joke. I wonder how the fat bearded guy community feels about this.
Poe is an awesome pilot but an incredible risk taker and he ends up getting most of the Resistance fleet destroyed, except for one lone bomber which somehow manages to get through the FO defences.
Super-dramatic sequence with the last remaining bomber.
This feels like the ending sequence of the film rather than the start.
How could anyone not find this exciting and brilliant?
This is Rose’s sister. She’s a gunner on the bomber. All the other crew have been killed. It’s up to her to drop the bombs. Very dramatic stuff with the trigger button. She falls and the button is on a ledge above her. There’s a suggestion that Leia uses the force to help her. She also holds onto a necklace - the other half belongs to her sister Rose. The button drops down but she seems to miss it. This is executed in a slightly cheesy and cliched way by Rian Johnson. The button clearly drops past her and out of reach but in slow motion we see the button dropping from another angle and her hand comes from nowhere to grab it.
It’s exactly the same thing that happens in Mission Impossible with Tom Cruise when he is in a high security room trying to steal some classified information or something. He’s suspended from the ceiling and a bead of sweat drops from his forehead. If it touches the floor, he’s dead basically. The bead of sweat falls and is definitely going to land on the floor but his hand comes in and stops it at the last minute. The magic of the movies, right?
Some people probably found that annoying, but it’s just a trick that’s been used in countless other movies. Movies always play with time, they slow it down, speed it up, use different angles and so on in order to raise the tension. The worst you can say about this sequence is that it’s a cliche. I personally found it to be good old fashioned dramatic tension and the moment when she presses the button and the bombs drop onto the dreadnaught very satisfying. Massive explosion and the dreadnaught is destroyed, although at great cost to the Resistance.
That was a really exciting sequence. I didn’t mind the jokey dialogue between Poe and Hux. I love the way the FO officers are quite ridiculous. I always found that funny in Star Wars anyway.
But there is a hell of a lot of war in this film. Of course - it’s Star Wars. But I remember James saying in another episode that we did about Star Wars once - will this war ever end? Probably not. It’s going to go on and on forever. It’s a pity that this is all about war and that this is great entertainment for us. War as entertainment. That’s a bit of a pity. You see it a lot in other films too, like Avengers Infinity War for example. War war war - explosions and explosions.
The Resistance fleet jumps into hyperspace and escapes, for now.
Poe gets told off by General Leia who demotes him.
Poe’s character arc in this film is that he has to learn how to develop from a reckless if brilliant fighter pilot to a strategic and inspiring leader of the Resistance.
One of the complaints about the film is that none of the characters develop. I disagree. Most of the characters have clear character arcs.
Hux gets told off by Supreme Leader Snoke who throws him around the room and drags him across the floor using the force.
So, I think Hux is summoned to Snoke’s throne room along with Kylo Ren.
Snoke is really pissed off but Hux reveals that they are actually tracking the Resistance through hyperspace - something that wasn’t possible before - hyperspace tracking.
Some fans are pissed off about this - that it’s a new thing that’s come from nowhere but this was mentioned v quickly in Rogue One, so there it is - it’s not completely out of the blue that this is possible.
This kind of gets him off the hook with Snoke.
Then Hux leaves Snoke alone with Kylo Ren who is still wearing his mask from episode 7.
This is a cool scene.
Snoke bullies Kylo - explains how he’s disappointed, how he’s lost faith in him, how he is still conflicted despite having killed Solo. He said when he found him he thought he had so much potential and raw power and that he could be the new Darth Vader but he’s just a boy in a mask who got beaten by a girl. To be fair to Kylo he had been shot when he took on Rey, but still. Snoke really makes him feel small and useless. Snoke is manipulating him but in a very cruel way.
He basically slaps him down. In fact he gives him a jolt of force lightning. Kylo stands up defiantly and Snoke shocks him quickly sending him flying backwards. I suppose to teach him a lesson - like a cruel parent or something. When this happens we see Snoke’s power used casually and also his guards quickly adopt fighting positions when Kylo stands and then return to their original positions after a couple of seconds. These guards look badass and cool, and better than the Imperial Guards that (badly) protected Emperor Palpatine in the original films.
Snoke looks amazing.
Kylo feels utterly humiliated and furious at this point.
Adam Driver’s performance is great.
It’s understated, except for the moments when he flies into a rage. We don’t quite know what’s going on inside him, except for subtle looks he gives, subtle changes in his expression which suggest that he’s feeling hurt, angry, determined, impatient, calculating. He’s a bit of an enigma. He never blinks in the film, I think. He never quite reveals his hand.
I feel sympathy towards him, considering how Snoke bullies him, builds him up and knocks him down.
I actually think he’s a bit more interesting than just a guy in a mask. Vader is of course a brilliant villain, but he’s also really ridiculous. The helmet is a bit over the top.
Kylo removes the mask and this is a good idea - in terms of the film making. It allows us to see Adam Driver’s performance. I like the way he is mostly quite blank in his expression - it’s hard to read him. Then at certain key moments we see the conflict inside him.
I like the fact that we never really know which way he is going. Is he turning good or bad? Or is it possible that he’s going in a completely new direction - against The Resistance & Luke Skywalker but also against Snoke who is using and abusing him?
Kylo is upset and very angry - not only does he remove the mask but he destroys it against the wall of the lift. He smashes it to pieces. This guy is calm and expressionless one minute and completely unhinged the next minute and I love that.
He orders his ship to be made ready.
The Resistance are just licking their wounds from the bomber run on the dreadnaught. Poe is feeling gutted that he’s been demoted.
Finn wakes up inside his bacta tank thing - some sort of medical body suit he’s been wearing while recovering. There’s a bit of comedy when he walks out of the medical ward wearing this ridiculous suit with pipes sticking out of it and liquid going everywhere. It looks pretty dumb, but it doesn’t really do any harm to the film or to Finn. Just a slightly goofy moment. Poe sees him and kind of fills him in on the plot.
I think at this point the First Order ships suddenly jump out of hyperspace right behind the Resistance and The Resistance are shocked to discover that the First Order have somehow tracked them through hyperspace.
The thing is, The Resistance are a certain distance ahead of the First Order ships - just out of range of the FO’s big weapons. I admit that this part of the plot is quite contrived. We now have a sort of standoff, or a low-speed chase in which the FO can’t get any closer because their big ships aren’t quite fast enough and The REsistance ships are relying on their shields and their mobility to keep out of range of the FO’s guns.
I don’t know why the FO can’t just do a really quick hyperspace jump so they’re immediately behind The Resistance ships and then use their big weapons. I don’t really understand why the FO ships aren’t faster and why their big weapons have such a short range - but honestly, I don’t really care. It doesn’t matter that much to me. The situation is this - the FO decide to play the long game. They’re convinced that eventually The Resistance will run out of fuel and then their shields will fail and they’ll fall within range and the FO will be able to destroy them. They also know that The Resistance can’t escape through hyperspeed. So they wait. That’s good enough for me! It shows the arrogance and cruelty of the FO - enjoying the feeling that they have the upper hand and perhaps even relishing the dominance of their position.
In terms of the film it allows other things to happen in the meantime and works as a kind of ticking clock device, which is really common in many films. A ticking clock or ultimatum which gives a sense of urgency to everything that happens. The protagonists have to hurry because they’re running out of time.
Kylo then goes out on an attack run against The Resistance with a few other FO fighters.
First time we’ve seen Kylo in his own Tie Fighter. It’s a bit like Vader’s tie fighter or perhaps the fighter flown by Anakin Skywalker in the prequels. Kylo also does some spinning, which is something Anakin was known for doing in the prequels. It’s quite a nice touch since Kylo is Anakin’s grandson.
Kylo destroys a lot of The Resistance x-wing fighters in the hanger on their ship The Raddus.
Loads of Resistance pilots die.
Kylo is a badass pilot. He flies past the bridge of The Raddus, where his mother Admiral Leia is situated. There’s a cool moment when the two of them obviously become aware of each other through the force. Kylo is planning to blow up the bridge, killing everyone, including his mother, but he pauses and seems to be wrestling with inner conflict. We see Leia perhaps reaching out using the force. This is a great emotional moment and really good performances by both Adam Driver and Carrie Fisher. A lot of emotion is shown in their faces. Kylo doesn’t shoot his missiles into the bridge. He can’t kill his mother, apparently. Maybe Leia is using the force to control his mind or something, or perhaps Kylo hasn’t become completely dark yet and the light part of him has mercy on her. It’s interesting anyway - to see his conflict and to consider where his loyalties really lie - with Snoke or with Leia. We don’t really know, but he doesn’t launch his missiles in any case. However, the two tie-fighters by his side do shoot their missiles and the bridge is blown up - sending everyone hurtling out into space, including Leia.
Kylo is then told to return to the FO fleet and he seems frustrated - perhaps because his mother has just been blown up, or because he resents being given orders by General Hux. At this moment I feel like he’s going to turn back to the light side, or at least that he’s not completely loyal to Snoke and the FO. This conflict is really interesting and I don’t see why some people don’t see this as a really positive point about the film. Trying to work out Kylo Ren is fascinating.
I reckon the best things about this film are the inner conflicts in the main characters. There is depth, contradiction, failure, confusion and pain in these characters, and the film shows this to the audience, rather than explaining it in really clumsy dialogue like you get in the prequel films.
Kylo flies back to the FO fleet.
Then perhaps the most controversial and weird moment in this film happens. This is the one that a lot of people really don’t like.
This is the end of part 1.
Part 2 - coming soon.

Jan 10, 2018
502. The Birth of My Daughter
01:24:46

Talking about the birth of my baby daughter, including accounts of the main events and how it all felt. Listen carefully for descriptive vocabulary for describing emotions and feelings as well as the language of childbirth previously explained in episodes 491 and 492.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-86Q 

italki offer http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Jan 04, 2018
501. Merry Christmas! / Listener Correspondence
01:04:41

Wishing you a Merry Christmas, giving some news and responding to some messages from listeners about vocabulary lists, pronouncing "can't" without sounding rude and more...

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-86o 

italki offer http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Dec 24, 2017
500. [2/2] EPISODE 500 CELEBRATION! (PART 2)
01:32:42

Celebrating 500 episodes of LEP with a mega-ramble featuring lots of messages from listeners, expressions of gratitude, a cool announcement for all my listeners, some singing, some talk of becoming a dad, the future of the podcast, Star Wars, and loads of fun and good times. Thank you for listening! 

italki offer - http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk

Episode page - https://wp.me/p4IuUx-85J 

GET THE LEP APP! https://wp.me/P4IuUx-82H 

Dec 17, 2017
500. [1/2] EPISODE 500 CELEBRATION! (PART 1)
01:40:24

Celebrating 500 episodes of LEP with a mega-ramble featuring lots of messages from listeners, expressions of gratitude, a cool announcement for all my listeners, some singing, some talk of becoming a dad, the future of the podcast, Star Wars, and loads of fun and good times. Thank you for listening! Parts 1 & 2 are both available on this page.

italki offer - http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk

Episode page - https://wp.me/p4IuUx-85J 

GET THE LEP APP! https://wp.me/P4IuUx-82H 

Dec 17, 2017
499. Prince Harry & Meghan Markle / Royal Family Quiz (with Amber)
01:28:36

Talking to Amber about the UK's Royal Family, including our thoughts on the upcoming wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, some royal gossip & rumours, and also a Royal Family Quiz with questions about the monarchy today and in history. So, expect to hear our thoughts and some facts about this very traitional British institution. Notes available.

italki offer http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-856 

Dec 12, 2017
498. The Rick Thompson Report: Brexit Negotiations
01:13:57

Talking to my Dad about the current situation with the UK's Brexit negotiations with the EU. Listen to hear explanations of what is going on with Brexit, how Northern Ireland is involved, what motivates Brexiters and some comments about other bits of international news - all delivered by my Dad with his clear and coherent English. Notes and transcriptions available.

italki offer http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-85g 

Dec 08, 2017
497. Film Club: Withnail & I (with James and Will)
01:24:29

Talking about a classic British film which not many learners of English know about. Listen for explanations of the film, its appeal, descriptions of the characters and events, the type of people who like the film and a few bits of dialogue too. Notes and videos available.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-84m 

italki offer http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Dec 05, 2017
496. RAMBLECAST
01:04:34

Rambling about life, learning English, Star Wars, screwing up paper into a ball and more...

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-84F 

italki offer http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Nov 30, 2017
495. Australian Stereotypes and Cliches (with Oliver Gee) ~didgeridoo sounds~
01:04:47

Discussing stereotypes and cliches about Australia with podcaster Oliver Gee who comes from a land down under. Learn about Australian English, Aussie accent, Aussie slang and exactly what you should say whenever you meet a true blue Aussie, mate! Vocabulary list available. Hooroo.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-84d 

Spoken offer http://www.getspoken.com/lep  

Nov 27, 2017
494. Who Wants to be Good at English? (The Rematch) with Rick Thompson
01:25:57

Testing my Dad on his knowledge of English, using words that are frequently confused by native English speakers. Will my dad be able to identify the words, spell them and explain the differences? Listen to learn 20 words and phrases which native English speakers often get wrong. You will also hear Dad and me discussing topics such as catching a squirrel, what he would say to Donald Trump and Paul McCartney if he met them, stories of police drug busts at university, how my dad would deal with a zombie apocalypse, and which one is worse - Brexit or Yoko Ono's 'singing'? Vocabulary list with definitions and examples available.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-82g 

italki offer http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Nov 22, 2017
493. Catching Up with Amber & Paul #7 (Human Pollution)
01:08:26

Amber and Paul are back on the podcast as we catch up with their recent news and the conversation goes off on many tangents covering subjects such as: pollution and fog in Paris, a possible new word - 'pog', other potential new words of the year, Harvey Weinstein, wanking in the office, 'human pollution in the swimming pool', Paul's recent showbiz news, seeing The Rolling Stones on stage and a slightly worrying email from a LEPster. Includes a cameo appearance by young Hugo, saying his first words on the podcast.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-83f

Spoken offer http://www.getspoken.com/lep 

 

Nov 17, 2017
492. Becoming a Dad (with Andy & Ben) Part 2
01:14:45

The second part of this conversation with Andy Johnson and Ben Butler, and we talk about the moment of childbirth and take a quiz about becoming a father. Vocabulary is explained in the second part of the episode. Vocabulary list available.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-83a 

italki offer http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Nov 12, 2017
491. Becoming a Dad (with Andy & Ben) Part 1
01:04:37

A conversation and vocabulary lesson about childbirth and becoming a father, with Andy Johnson and Ben Butler from The London School of English. Listen to Andy and Ben talking about their experiences of becoming parents, how their babies were born and more. Vocabulary is explained in the second half of the episode. Vocabulary list available.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-838 

italki offer http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk

Nov 08, 2017
490. Discussing Friendship - with Martin and Dan The Man from Rock n' Roll English (Friendship Phrasal Verbs)
01:35:45

Hello! In this episode of the podcast I am talking to Martin Johnston and his mate Dan The Man from the Rock n Roll English Podcast and we're going to teach you some phrasal verbs and other expressions relating to friendship, while also putting their friendship to the test. Martin and Dan are lifelong friends. They know each other very well but they spend a lot of their time bickering and getting at each other. What's going on in this friendship? Do they really like each other or not? Let's find out in this episode and you can learn lots of vocabulary while we're doing it.

Episode page: https://wp.me/p4IuUx-820 

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Nov 03, 2017
489. A Rambling Conversation with Mum (Part 2) + Vocabulary
01:36:01

Here's part 2 of this conversation with my Mum in which you can hear us wittering on about the bookshop where Mum works, some of the books she's read recently, and some of her podcast and film recommendations. Vocabulary is explained at the end, and there's a vocabulary list with definitions available.

Episode page: https://wp.me/p4IuUx-81N 

italki offer: http://teacherluke.co.uk/talk

 

Oct 30, 2017
488. A Rambling Conversation with Mum (Part 1) + Vocabulary
01:31:53

A conversation with my (lovely) mum in which we generally witter on about a number of different things including some British history, ways of describing rain, different expressions for talking (like rambling and wittering), my mum's accent, what she thinks of this podcast and some of her podcast recommendations. Vocabulary is explained after the conversation and there is a vocabulary list available.

Episode page: https://wp.me/p4IuUx-81a

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Oct 26, 2017
487. Learning Languages and Adapting to New Cultures (with Ethan from RealLife English)
01:34:17

A conversation about travelling and learning languages with Ethan from RealLife English. Ethan is very well-travelled, having lived in at least 6 different countries. He's also learned a few different languages to a good level as an adult. Let's talk about his advice for adapting to new cultures and learning languages in adulthood. Vocabulary notes and language test available below. 

Episode page: https://wp.me/p4IuUx-800

Spoken offer: http://www.getspoken.com/lep

 

Oct 22, 2017
486. Difficult Words to Pronounce in English (with Paul Taylor) Part 2
01:00:11

With this one you can continue to listen to Paul Taylor and me discussing the tricky relationship between spelling and pronunciation. There are lots of jokes, impressions, funny accents and useful comments about this important area of the English language. Use this episode to avoid some very common mistakes in English pronunciation, and try not to laugh on the bus while you're listening! 

Check the episode page for word lists, transcriptions and my video of 40+ difficult words to pronounce in English.

Episode page: https://wp.me/p4IuUx-7Z6 

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Oct 13, 2017
485. Difficult Words to Pronounce in English (with Paul Taylor) Part 1
54:36

Listen to Paul Taylor and me discussing the tricky relationship between spelling and pronunciation. There are lots of jokes, impressions, funny accents and useful comments about this important area of the English language. Use this episode to avoid some very common mistakes in English pronunciation, and try not to laugh on the bus while you're listening! 

Check the episode page for word lists, transcriptions and my video of 40+ difficult words to pronounce in English.

Episode page: https://wp.me/p4IuUx-7Z6 

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Oct 13, 2017
484. Try not to Laugh on the Bus (with Paul Taylor)
01:36:48

A conversation with Paul Taylor involving several cups of tea, recipes for French crepes, our terrible rap skills, a funny old comedy song about English workmen drinking tea, some improvised comedy role plays and a very angry Paul ranting about bad customer service in France! Your challenge is to listen to this episode in public without laughing out loud, especially in the second half of the episode. Good luck, may the force be with you. Vocabulary list, song lyrics, definitions and a quiz available (link below).

Episode page: https://wp.me/p4IuUx-7Zb 

Spoken offer: http://www.getspoken.com/lep 

Oct 08, 2017
483. A Rambling Chat with Moz
01:11:38

The second part of my conversation with my friend Moz, this time covering subjects such as podcasting vs YouTube, bathing naked in a Japanese spa, sharing personal information online (like a story of bathing naked in a Japanese spa), the role of artificial intelligence & social media, murdering mosquitoes and meeting a crack addict on the streets of London. Vocabulary list and quiz available.

Episode page: https://wp.me/p4IuUx-7Yo

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Oct 01, 2017
482. The Murder Mile True Crime Podcast (with Moz) More Creepy Stories of Murders in London
01:11:26

My friend Moz, who runs a murder-themed tour company in London, is back on the podcast to talk about some more creepy stories of crimes from London's history and his new podcast. Vocabulary list available on the website.

Episode page: https://wp.me/p4IuUx-7Yh 

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Sep 26, 2017
481. Holiday Diary (Final Part) "Endeavour to Persevere"
01:34:23

The final part of the holiday diary series. This one is about visiting the Navajo Nation, meeting some Navajo people, seeing more natural wonders at Monument Valley and The Grand Canyon, a couple of film recommendations our experience of the solar eclipse and a few more anecdotes about the rest of our road trip. Transcript + more on the episode page.

Episode page: https://wp.me/p4IuUx-7WS 

Spoken voice calls: http://www.getspoken.com/lep 

Sep 20, 2017
480. Holiday Diary (Part 7) Big Rocks! Geology & A Short History of the Earth
01:24:56

In this episode I'm going to continue telling you stories of my recent holiday and there will be descriptions of impressive rocky landscapes, a sort of geology lesson and a brief history of planet earth. Expect plenty of solid descriptive chunks of vocabulary as this holiday diary continues. 

Spoken calls: http://www.getspoken.com/lep

Episode page: https://wp.me/p4IuUx-7Wc 

Sep 18, 2017
479. Holiday Diary (Part 6) The Madness of Las Vegas / 11 Gambling Idioms
01:12:41

This episode includes anecdotes and descriptions of our short visit to Las Vegas, including stories of more rental car issues, Las Vegas craziness, winning and losing $$$ and 11 common English idioms that come from the world of gambling.

Episode page: https://wp.me/p4IuUx-7W2 

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk

Sep 14, 2017
478. Holiday Diary (Part 5) An Encounter with The Church of Scientology
01:09:36

More thoughts and comments inspired by things that happened during my recent holiday. In this one I'm discussing stories about the Church of Scientology and the claims that it is a cult. Listen to find out what happened in this part of my trip. Check the episode page for the vocabulary list with definitions.

Episode page: https://teacherluke.co.uk/2017/09/12/478-holiday-diary-part-5-an-encounter-with-the-church-of-scientology/ 

 

Sep 12, 2017
477. Holiday Diary (Part 4) The Fresh Prince of Bel Air
56:27

The holiday diary continues and in this chapter we visited Bel Air in L.A. and so here is an analysis of the lyrics to Will Smith's rap from "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air", a famous TV show (and a very serious piece of work, haha) from the 90s which was set in Bel Air itself. Topics covered: TV pop culture, racial politics, slang English.

Episode page: https://wp.me/p4IuUx-7V2

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Sep 09, 2017
476. Holiday Diary (Part 3) Astronomy, Astrology & Flat Earth Conspiracy Theory
01:37:28

In this episode I talk about visiting the fantastic Griffith Observatory and then ramble about Astronomy vs Astrology and ludicrous flat earth conspiracy theories. Includes various bits of vocabulary throughout the episode.

Spoken offer: http://www.getspoken.com/lep

Episode page: https://wp.me/p4IuUx-7UR 

Sep 06, 2017
475. Holiday Diary (Part 2) Modern Art: Is it amazing, or is it rubbish?
01:21:57

Talking about some modern art which I saw while visiting several galleries in Los Angeles. Includes descriptions of different movements in modern art, details about some famous artists and their work, some thoughts about whether modern art is really amazing, or maybe just a load of pretentious rubbish! (Spoiler alert: it depends)

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk

Episode page: https://wp.me/p4IuUx-7UQ 

Sep 03, 2017
474. Holiday Diary (Part 1) New Arrival, New Destinations
01:12:40

Hi everyone, I'm back from my holiday so here's a new episode of the podcast. In this one you'll hear me talking about some recent news (including quite a big announcement) and then an account of what we did on holiday including some descriptions, opinions and stories. There's talk of disturbing political events, dodgy car rental experiences, and a couple of beautiful cities where urban life meets wild nature. Enjoy!

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk

Episode page: https://teacherluke.co.uk/2017/08/31/474-holiday-diary-part-1/ 

Aug 31, 2017
473. Explaining the Rules of Cricket (with Dad)
01:26:23

Everything you need to know about the world's 2nd most popular spectator sport, cricket. I'm joined by my Dad, Rick Thompson and we describe the rules, the appeal of the game and also some expressions in English that come from cricket.

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk

Episode page: https://wp.me/p4IuUx-7Tr 

Aug 22, 2017
Why does the UK have so many accents? (Recorded February 2017)
01:16:11

This episode was originally recorded in February 2017 and is being uploaded in August 2017. In this episode I’m going to answer several questions from listeners about accents, including how regional accents occur in the UK and why there are so many accents there. Video available.

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk

Episode page: https://wp.me/p4IuUx-7Ty 

Aug 16, 2017
472. Andy's Story of Survival / Why Andy Runs Marathons (with Andy Johnson)
57:46

Talking to Andy about why he runs marathons, including vocabulary relating to doing exercise, health, fitness, technique, injuries and medical care.

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk

Episode page: https://wp.me/p4IuUx-7Ti 

Aug 11, 2017
471. Stepping on Lego, Self-directed Learning, Accents (with Andy Johnson)
47:13

Talking to Andy about stepping on Lego, Andy's job, self-directed language learning, accent, and British/American English.

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk

Episode page: https://wp.me/p4IuUx-7Tc 

Aug 06, 2017
I'm going away on holiday - back in a few weeks!
25:57

I'm going on holiday until the end of the month, so I'm going to disappear for a while.

Listen to this message because it has a few announcements about what's happening with the podcast while I'm gone. Transcript available.

Episode page https://wp.me/p4IuUx-7T5 

Aug 02, 2017
470. Understanding the Liverpool Accent
01:22:59

Helping you to understand and appreciate the Liverpool accent and Scouse English, featuring clips of comedy a short history of Liverpool and interviews with famous footballers, actors and musicians.

Episode page: https://wp.me/p4IuUx-7SN

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Jul 31, 2017
469. British Comedy: John Bishop
01:16:18

Helping you to understand a comedian with a Liverpool accent - learn vocabulary, culture and accents in English.

Episode page: https://wp.me/p4IuUx-7SJ

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Jul 27, 2017
468. Punk - Music & Culture (with James)
01:19:32

A bit of pop culture history in this episode, talking about the musical movement of punk and the social situation in which it happened. With James Thompson

Episode page: https://wp.me/p4IuUx-7HN

 Spoken offer: http://www.getspoken.com/lep 

Jul 24, 2017
467. A Boiling-Hot Evening Ramble - Comments & Questions
01:23:55

Rambling (in my sweltering hot flat) about the benefits of playing football, giving encouragement to a shy new listener, some prepositions with transport, comparing formal and informal styles and commenting on the risks of using humour in emails.

Episode page with notes and transcriptions: https://wp.me/p4IuUx-7S4 

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk   

Jul 20, 2017
466. Get this word into your life
01:35:49

Highlighting and clarifying vocabulary that you heard in episodes 464 and 465, with a focus on phrases and uses of the word get.

Episode page: https://wp.me/p4IuUx-7QV 

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Jul 15, 2017
465. How I make episodes of the podcast (Part 2)
01:22:41

Talking about the technical side of making podcast episodes, including fascinating* insights about my recording equipment and an exciting** anecdote game. Includes upbeat music to absolutely guarantee*** that you will not be bored during the episode!

*insights may not actually be fascinating
**management holds no liability for any lack of excitement experienced
***not actually a legally binding guarantee

Spoken offer: http://www.getspoken.com/lep

Episode page for notes: https://wp.me/p4IuUx-7Rg 

Jul 10, 2017
464. How I make episodes of the podcast (Part 1)
01:16:58

Talking about the creative side of making podcast episodes, including some thoughts on how to come up with ideas and how to speak in front of an audience. Watch out for various phrases with 'get' during the episode.

Episode page on teacherluke.co.uk http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7QS

Spoken - 2 free lessons & 20% discount: http://www.getspoken.com/lep 

Jul 06, 2017
463. News, Comments & Questions
01:24:04

Giving some news, responding to comments & questions, rambling about new shoes and getting lost in the jungle.

Episode page with links etc: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7QI 

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk

 

Jul 03, 2017
462. British Comedy: Bill Bailey
01:11:42

In this episode I talk to you about one of my favourite stand up comedians from the UK. We’re going to hear some of his comedy and use it to learn English.

Episode page for scripts, videos, notes: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7PU

Spoken offer: http://www.getspsoken.com/lep

Jun 28, 2017
461. 25 Deceptively Difficult Questions (with Amber, Paul & Sarah)
01:10:46

An episode about the tricky little questions that we use when socialising. What are the appropriate answers? What are the subtle differences? How do native speakers use these questions? Can you take the test and get all the right responses to my list of deceptively difficult questions? 

Episode page: http://teacherluke.co.uk/2017/06/24/461-25-deceptively-difficult-questions-with-amber-paul-sarah/ 

Spoken offer: http://www.getspoken.com/lep 

25 Deceptively Difficult Questions - Proper Introduction Transcript!

Hi everyone, This is an episode about social English, the kind of English you use when you’re socialising, particularly the little things you say when you greet someone or at the beginning of a conversation. There are many ways to say “hi” and also lots of ways to say “how are you?” or “what are you doing?” The tricky thing is being able to judge the subtle differences in the questions with the presence of auxiliary verbs or modals which change the meaning slightly from the past, to the present to the future or with slightly different levels of formality. I’d like to do a test in this episode today. I am going to test you, so get ready.

A Test

Here’s what’s going to happen. I’ve prepared a list of 25 questions. I’m going to read them to you in a moment. As I say each question, what I want you to do is to think really quickly and really naturally about the first thing you would normally say when you hear that question. What’s the first answer that comes into your mind? Let’s see if you answer correctly. To find out the proper answers we’re going to listen to me directing those questions at Amber, Paul and Sarah. Then you can listen out for how they answer them and the comments we make afterwards, which should explain these tricky little bits of English. Not only can you learn some essential social English in this episode, you can also hear plenty of humorous conversation between the four of us. Sarah’s baby is also there in the background. I’m sorry if this bothers anyone. I’ve removed some of those noises but a few are still there. I think it sounds fine and adds a bit of atmosphere and after all she is a very cute baby.

So, the test. Let’s get started.

Are you ready? Just give the first answer that comes to mind. Also, you should know that some of the questions are intentionally incorrect. So, if you hear a question which is grammatically wrong or just not used ever, you can say “wrong”. Ok, so, your quick answer to the question, or “wrong” if it’s incorrect. I’ll say the question once quickly, once slowly and once again quickly. Some of these questions may seem extremely simple - the point of this is the pragmatics of social English and how you should give certain stock answers to some questions. They get a bit harder as they go along. Also, you can try to repeat the questions too. They’re going to come pretty quick, so use the pause button if you want. Here we go. You might think these are easy, but that's why this is called 'deceptively' difficult questions. *4 questions are intentionally incorrect. Can you spot them?

  1. What are you doing?
  2. How are you doing?
  3. How’s it going?
  4. How are you going?
  5. What’s happening?
  6. What’s going on?
  7. What’s going down?
  8. What’s going up?
  9. What’s up?
  10. How do you do?
  11. How are you?
  12. How have you been?
  13. How have you been up to?
  14. What are you up to?
  15. What have you been up to?
  16. How long has it been?
  17. Can I use your phone?
  18. I can’t use your phone, can I?
  19. Do you mind if I open the window?
  20. You don’t mind if I open the window, do you?
  21. What are your plans for later?
  22. What are you up to later?
  23. Can you tell me where is the best bar in town?
  24. Do you know how long is it going to be?
  25. Would you be prepared to give me a 5% discount?

Ta = thanks You’re now going to hear all those questions and how Amber, Paul and Sarah will respond to them. See if you got them right or wrong! I’ll go through them again quickly at the end.

Listen to the whole episode for all the correct answers and explanations.

Don't be a ninja! Let me know your thoughts in the comment section.

Cheers! Luke

Jun 24, 2017
460 Catching Up With Amber & Paul #6 (feat. Sarah Donnelly)
01:05:42

Conversation and language analysis with the podpals and guest Sarah. Hear some conversation about being married to a foreign person, bringing up kids to be bilingual, and learn some slang in Australian and Northern Irish English. Vocabulary is explained at the end. 

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk

Episode page: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7PL 

Text also reproduced below (including vocabulary lists)

Introduction

This episode is choc-a-block with natural conversation and language. Yesterday I had Amber and Paul over to the flat, and I also invited Sarah Donnelly, a friend of the podcast. Sarah also brought her baby who she had since she was last on the podcast. There’s no relation by the way between her being on the podcast and having a baby. Purely coincidental. Anyway, the four of us sat around the table yesterday in the blistering heat to record some podcast material and that’s what you’re going to hear. Sometimes you can hear the baby screaming and gurgling in the background but I don’t think it spoils the recording really.

She hasn’t learned to talk yet, but who knows being on the podcast might help a little bit in some way. The conversation is a bit chaotic because there are 4 people, sometimes talking over each other. If you like you can imagine you’re in a business meeting. A business meeting in which no business actually takes place, nobody observes the rules of formality and where the participants just chat with each other. So, not much like a business meeting really, but anyway a meeting of sorts, and this is the kind of thing you might have to deal with in the future if you go to a meeting in English and there are a number of people discussing things and you have to keep up. It’s good practice to listen to this kind of thing to help you prepare for that kind of situation.

This recording was slightly shorter than the usual full-on ramble that we have together. But I’m going to do a bit of language analysis at the end. I’ll pick out a few words and phrases and will clarify them after the conversation has finished. Also there’s another language-related episode coming soon with Amber, Paul and Sarah.

Here now is a discussion between podpals Amber and Paul, also featuring Sarah Donnelly the American with Irish roots who has been on this podcast before, most recently talking about the US Presidential Elections with Sebastian Marx.

Things we all have in common:

  • We’re all English speaking expats in France
  • We are all with French partners, either married or “paxed”
  • We’re all comedians on the stand up scene too

In this chat we discuss a few things, such as the complexities of being with a foreign partner, bringing up a child in a foreign country to be fully bilingual, getting married and what it feels like for the bride and groom on the big day, Amber’s podcast which was recently released online, Paul’s upcoming gig in Australia, Sarah’s Irish roots and some English slang from New Zealand, Australia and Northern Ireland.

Questions

Here are some questions for you to consider as you listen. This can help you to focus on the content.

  1. Are you or have you ever been with a foreign person in a relationship? What are the difficulties of that?
  2. What’s the best way to bring up a child to be bilingual? Is it possible to raise a bilingual child when only one of you speaks one of the target languages to the child?
  3. Are you married? How did it feel for you on the big day? Did you cry? Have you ever been a guest at a wedding, and did you cry?
  4. Have you heard Amber’s podcast, which is called Paname? It’s now available at panamepodcast.com
  5. Can you identify different English accents and dialects from around the world? How about American vs British, or different areas of the UK? How about Ireland and Northern Ireland? What about Australia and New Zealand? Do you know what their English sounds like?

Right. Consider those questions as you listen to this conversation and hold on until later when I’ll explain some of the vocabulary and some cultural stuff too, maybe touching on different accents, wedding vocabulary and more. But now you can listen to Amber, Paul, Sarah and me, melting in my boiling hot apartment.


Vocabulary and other language points - Explained

It's really hot It’s hot as hell It’s boiling It’s sweltering It’s baking It’s blisteringly hot
Being partnered with a French person is hard work. I have one hour’s worth of material on this.
One hour’s worth of something 5 minutes’ worth of something We’ve got 3 days’ worth of food left I’ve got about 10 minutes’ worth of battery left
Bringing Up Children
Bringing up
a baby in a foreign country with a foreign partner - will they speak English?

Bring up a baby
Raise a child
Be raised in / to Grow up Do you have experience of bringing up a baby to be bilingual? Let us know. If just one parent speaks English, and the rest of the time it’s French with school, friends and everything else - will the kid be bilingual?
Anglophone
Francophone
Condone/Condemn I don’t condone the hitting of a child (stupid thing to say actually - but that’s what happens when you joke - sometimes you go over the line a bit - obvs I didn’t mean it)
Condone / condemn
Paul's Wedding
An out of body experience
We were so stressed out
Crying
To cry
To be in tears
To well up
To choke up
Neither of us cried
I thought everybody would be in tears
I welled up a bit
I was choking up
Walk down the aisle
The altar
Her parents aren’t with her any more. They passed away.
Paul’s dad gave her away. “It was so sweet that it was your dad that was giving her away.”
I’m left-handed
I can’t grip it like I like to grip it. (innuendo)
He’s jumped ahead. (he’s gone to the innuendo before we realised it)
Some ninjas came out of the woodwork. (to come out of the woodwork) to appear after having been hidden or not active for a long time: After you've been in a relationship for a while all sorts of little secrets start to come out of the woodwork. Mildly disapproving. From Cambridge Dictionary Online.
They feel like they’re going to do mistakes. Make mistakes.
Aussie slang http://mentalfloss.com/article/61847/25-awesome-australian-slang-terms  
G’day mate, how are you going?
Arvo: afternoon
Barbie: barbeque
Bogan
Chockers
Fair Dinkum
Fuckin’ oath!
Sweet as
Strewth! (Cliche)
Kiwi slang The slang is pretty similar to Aussie or UK slang, but the accent is different. For years I couldn’t differentiate it from Aussie, but the more you hear the more you realise how different it is. Watch Flight of the Conchords to hear lots of it. Episode in the pipeline.

Jun 20, 2017
459. Lazing on a Sunny Afternoon
01:02:56

Rambling on about so-called "facts" I found on the internet, while sitting in direct sunshine wishing I had beer.

Episode page: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7Pz

Audible audiobook offer: http://www.audibletrial.com/teacherluke 

Jun 17, 2017
458. The Rick Thompson Report: Post-Election 2017
01:11:16

Talking to my Dad about the results of the UK's general election on 8 June 2017.

Episode page: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7Ph 

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Jun 14, 2017
457. Conclusions about Language Learning from the David Crystal Interview (Part 2)
53:04

A follow-up to episode 455 consolidating the insights of Professor David Crystal including various pearls of wisdom about language learning.

Episode page: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7OS 

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Jun 09, 2017
456. Conclusions about Language Learning from the David Crystal Interview (Part 1)
01:06:08

Discussing and clarifying what David Crystal said in episode 454. Conclusions about language learning and linguistics.

 

Episode page: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7OB

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Jun 09, 2017
455. David Crystal Interview (Part 2) Questions from Listeners
57:53

Talking to the world's top writer and lecturer on the English language, Professor David Crystal. In this episode, David answers questions from listeners.

Episode page: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7Od

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Jun 06, 2017
A Message from Amber
02:52

Hi everyone, this is just a quick 3min episode with a message from Amber about her podcast. Details below.

Amber's podcast is now on iTunes and on her website http://www.panamepodcast.com

Check it out!

Luke

Jun 01, 2017
454. David Crystal Interview (Part 1) Professor of Linguistics
01:03:04

Talking about language with one of the world's top linguists, Professor David Crystal.

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk

Episode page: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7NH 

May 31, 2017
453. The 36 Questions that Lead to Love (with Amber & Paul)
01:12:32

Listen to Amber, Paul and me answering questions designed by psychologists to help couples or friends become closer and more intimate.

Episode page: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7NW 

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

May 27, 2017
452. A Conversation About Language (with Amber & Paul)
01:01:08

Discussing language with Amber & Paul, including issues such as errors made by native speakers, language change, whether language standards are declining, the effects of technology on language and how to cut an avocado without injuring yourself.

Episode page: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7No 

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

May 24, 2017
451. Film Club: Alien Covenant
01:13:37

Another film club episode, this time about the Alien franchise and a review of the new film "Alien: Covenant". The film is in the cinemas now and you could watch the other films at home (with or without subtitles) for some more English listening practice.

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk

Episode page: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7Ni 

May 22, 2017
450. Comments & Questions
01:21:28

In this episode I’m going to go through some questions from the comment section and give a bit of news. There will be some grammar, some vocab, some reactions to recent episodes and some bits relating to how you can continue to push your English with this podcast.

Spoken offer: http://www.getspoken.com/lep

Episode page: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7MU 

May 16, 2017
449. Film Club: Touching the Void (Part 2) Learning a Language is Like Climbing a Mountain
01:05:08

Part 2 of this Film Club episode looking at the award-winning documentary "Touching the Void" which tells the story of a mountain climbing expedition which goes wrong. Listen to this episode and then watch the film on Netflix or DVD for that extra bit of English input.

Episode page: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7DO

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk

May 13, 2017
448. Film Club: Touching the Void (Part 1) Learning a Language is Like Climbing a Mountain
54:45

A film club episode about the award-winning documentary film "Touching the Void" about a mountain climbing expedition which goes wrong. It's an amazing true story and there are lots of things to learn from it, including lessons about motivation and attitude towards any challenge. The film is available on Netflix and DVD. Check it out and use this episode to help you understand it all.

Episode page: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7DM

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk

May 12, 2017
447. What is this, British Humour? (with Amber Minogue)
01:26:54

What is British Humour? Is it funny? Does it even exist? How does it relate to our communication style and culture? In this episode I go through the main points of my British Council Teacher Talk about British Humour. Amber and I discuss the definition of British humour, the way it works, how it's different or similar to other humour in other places, and some examples of typical humour in the UK.

Episode page: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7E8

Spoken offer: www.getspoken.com/lep

May 08, 2017
446. British TV: Top Gear
01:26:01

Talking about one of the UK's most popular television programmes, Top Gear. This episode features lots of vocabulary related to cars, but a lot more too including your guide to how to speak like Jeremy Clarkson.

Episode page: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7DS 

Spoken offer: http://www.getspoken.com/lep 

May 05, 2017
445. British Podcast Award / Hello to New Listeners / 17 Vocabulary Expressions
55:29

In this episode I’m going to talk a little bit about the results of the British Podcast Awards and also do a sort of introduction to the podcast for new people who might be listening for the first time. I’m going to bring you up to speed on what this podcast is all about and also recommend a few episodes from the archive that you could listen to. Also - for the dedicated language learners, at the end of the episode I’m going to explain 17 expressions which you’ll hear as I’m talking. Which expressions will they be? You’ll have to wait and see.

Episode page - http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7DA

italki offer - http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

May 01, 2017
444. The Rick Thompson Report: Snap General Election 2017
01:20:01

Politics is back on LEP as I talk to my Dad about recent developments in the UK, specifically the General Election which is due to take place on 8 June.

Episode page: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7C6

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Apr 25, 2017
443. The Trip to Japan (Part 2)
01:42:37

Describing my recent trip to Japan and exploring the culture of the Land of the Rising Sun. Episode page: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7C4  Spoken offer: http://www.getspoken.com/lep 

Apr 21, 2017
442. The Trip to Japan (Part 1)
01:28:21

Describing my recent trip to Japan and exploring the culture of the Land of the Rising Sun.

Episode page: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7BQ

Spoken offer: http://www.getspoken.com/lep 

Apr 21, 2017
441. Andy Johnson at the IATEFL Conference
01:26:37

A conversation with Andy Johnson, talking about the IATEFL teaching conference, millennials, more tales of Andy's appearance and the possibility of a WWE wrestling match between Andy and me.

Episode page http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7BO

10% off all courses at London School Online - use offer code LUKE10 http://www.londonschoolonline.com 

Apr 18, 2017
440. This Pile of Books on my Desk
01:32:50

In this episode I just want to talk to you about this pile of 16 books I have on my desk. These are (mostly) books I haven't read yet but which I picked up recently. I have lots of piles of books like this lying around and I must read them all but I can't find the time! Anyway, I think they're really interesting. I either received them as presents, was recommended them by friends and family or I bought them for myself when visiting book shops over the last year or two. I love books, and browsing bookshops is one of my favourite things. If only I was a faster reader!

Episode page http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7Bk

italki offer http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Apr 06, 2017
439. Reading Books to Learn English
01:09:01

This episode is all about books. I’m going to recommend some self-study books for learning English, talk about the value of reading books in English and then go through some of the books which I have in a pile on my desk and talk to you about them - just to inspire you to do some more reading this year, in English of course!

Epsiode page http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7Bh

italki offer http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Apr 06, 2017
438. Hi Luke, I have a question!
01:38:38

Here’s another episode done in a similar style to the last one, with some news, some rambling and some questions and comments from the website. Topics in this episode will include: My live comedy show in Tokyo on 13 April, LEPster meetups, humour, grammar, understanding TV and Movies, Breaking Bad, Logan and more...

Episode page: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7B8

Spoken: http://www.getspoken.com/lep 

Apr 04, 2017
437. Ramble News - 31 March 2017
01:27:55

A rambly episode with some news from the UK, some comments, some questions, some updates about LEPster meetups in Moscow, Tokyo and London and more.

Episode page: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7Ad

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Mar 31, 2017
436. The Return of The Lying Game (with Amber & Paul) [Video]
01:02:17

Amber, Paul and I play another round of The Lying Game, in which we each tell a story and the others have to guess if it's true or a lie. Listen for story telling, questions and general fun, plus some jokes at the end of the episode. Video available.

Episode page: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7Av

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Mar 28, 2017
435. Catching Up With Amber & Paul #5 [Video]
01:14:40

Amber & Paul are back on the podcast in this episode as we respond to some questions and comments from the website and social media. Video available.

Episode page: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7Aa

Spoken: http://www.getspoken.com/lep 

Mar 24, 2017
434. Interview with Paul Taylor - "WTF France?" [Video]
01:14:46

Interviewing Paul Taylor about his comedy projects, including "What the F*ck France" on Canal+ / Youtube and his stand-up shows #Franglais and The Paul Taylor Comedy Night. Video available.

Episode page: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7zC

Spoken offer: http://www.getspoken.com/lep 

Mar 21, 2017
433. British TV: Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares (Part 2) [Video]
01:15:55

Learn more authentic English directly from the mouths of these native speakers in an episode of the popular British TV show "Kitchen Nightmares" with famous chef Gordon Ramsay. Videos and vocabulary lists available.

Episode page: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7zA

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Mar 16, 2017
432. British TV: Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares (Part 1) [Video]
01:14:17

Talking about restaurant culture in the UK, an introduction to one of the UK's most famous chefs and a chance to learn some authentic English from a popular British TV show featuring Gordon Ramsay. Video available.

Episode page: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7zy

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Mar 14, 2017
431. Restaurants & Hotels / Really Strange TripAdvisor Reviews (with Amber)
01:32:16

Talking to Amber about our experiences in restaurants & hotels and some truly bizarre TripAdvisor reviews.

Episode page: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7yz

Spoken promo: http://www.getspoken.com/lep 

Mar 09, 2017
430. Discussing Language Learning & Life with Fred Eyangoh
01:34:11

Talking to Fred about history, geography, comedy, learning English and cutlery.

Episode page http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7wb

italki offer http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Mar 05, 2017
429. RAMBLENEWS!
01:22:36

[Yes, that is a lizard in an aquarium - listen to the episode to find out more] This is an episode with some rambling about recent news, LEPster meetups, transcript project team, listener comments & questions, teaching phrasal verbs with 'in on' and some music. This episode is also available as a video.

Episode page: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7yk

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Mar 01, 2017
428. British Comedy: Limmy's Show (Part 2)
01:32:58

Analysis of another sketch from Limmy's Show. Listen to informal English spoken in a Glasgow accent, and understand it. Episode page: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7xO 

Feb 23, 2017
427. British Comedy: Limmy's Show
01:31:03

An episode analysing more British comedy, this time focusing on a couple of sketches from Limmy's Show, an award-winning TV comedy produced by BBC Scotland. See link for transcriptions, notes and videos.

 Episode page http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7xc 

Feb 22, 2017
426. Thompson, Taylor & Minogue: Victorian Detectives (Part 2) with Amber & Paul
01:16:08

Listen to the conclusion of this mystery story in which Amber, Paul and I attempt to solve a series of kidnappings in Victorian London.

Episode page: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7wS

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Feb 16, 2017
425. Thompson, Taylor & Minogue: Victorian Detectives (Part 1) with Amber & Paul
01:31:39

Join Amber, Paul and me as we attempt to solve a series of mysterious kidnappings in Victorian London. Full story text available.

Episode page: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7vz

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Feb 13, 2017
424. With Andy & Ben from The London School of English (Part 2)
01:07:43

Talking to Andy Johnson and Ben Butler about teaching English to millennials, cross-cultural experiences we've had as English teachers and some funny stories about Andy.

Episode page http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7vS

London School Online (use offer code LUKE10) for a 10% discount http://www.londonschoolonline.com 

Feb 08, 2017
423. With Andy & Ben from The London School of English (Part 1)
50:24

Talking to Andy Johnson and Ben Butler from The London School of English about many things including teaching English for specific purposes and some old anecdotes.

Episode page http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7vH 

Feb 06, 2017
422. Learning British Dialects with Korean Billy
01:38:28

Talking to Billy from Korea about his videos about regional British dialects and accents.

Episode page: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7t5

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Feb 02, 2017
421. Skateboarding - A New Olympic Sport (with James)
01:13:55

A new episode with James about Skateboarding, which will be a new event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. James has been a skater for most of his life and used to write articles for a skateboarding magazine, so he's exactly the right person to talk to about this.

Episode page: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7ur

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Jan 29, 2017
420. Anyone fancy a brew? Let's have a nice cup of tea!
01:11:41

Everything you need to know about the culture of tea-drinking in the UK, including a full guide to how to make a nice cup of tea, English style.

Episode page: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-5c9

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Jan 26, 2017
419. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story - Spoiler Review (with James)
01:10:24

Talking to my brother about the latest Star Wars film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. SPOILER ALERT!

Episode page: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7ua

Spoken offer: http://www.getspoken.com/lep 

Jan 23, 2017
418. The Rick Thompson Report: Technology and The Future (January 2017)
59:12

Talking to my Dad about developments in technology in the future. http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7u4

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Jan 19, 2017
417. New Year's Resolutions and Language Learning in 2017
47:49

Let’s look towards the coming year and talk about new years resolutions for language learning in 2017. I talk about the UK's most common new year's resolutions, my resolutions for improving my French and then talk about ways we can work on our language learning this year. http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7tf 

Jan 15, 2017
416. What was the most popular episode of LEP in 2016? + more podcast statistics
51:18

Here is an overview of how 2016 was for Luke's English Podcast including some details about the top 5 episodes, the top 20 countries, and more statistics for the last 12 months. http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7t6 

Jan 13, 2017
415. With the Family (Part 3) More Encounters with Famous People
54:40

Here's the final part in this trilogy of episodes recorded at my parents' house on Boxing Day. In this one my mum, dad and brother tell us a few more anecdotes about their encounters with some well-known people. Episode page http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7sg 

Jan 10, 2017
414. With the Family (Part 2) My Uncle Met a Rock Star
40:27

Listen to my uncle Nic telling some stories about British rock stars he has met over the years, including an encounter with one of the most famous musicians in the world! http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7qD 

Jan 05, 2017
413. With The Family (Part 1) Mum's Cooking + Vocabulary (with Uncle Nic)
01:11:28

Happy New Year! This new episode features a conversation I recorded during the Christmas holiday with my mum and my uncle Nic about how to cook a great Turkey dinner. Listen for some family conversation and then vocabulary explanations. Click here for the page for this episode http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7pU 

Jan 03, 2017
412. British Festivals and Holidays (Part 2)
58:45

Here's part 2 of this episode all about special days and celebrations in the UK throughout the year. Transcript and videos here http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7nA 

Dec 26, 2016
411. British Festivals and Holidays (Part 1)
01:18:42

Here's an episode all about special days and celebrations in the British calendar. You'll hear cultural information about holidays and customs, and some pronunciation work on how to say dates and the months of the year. Transcript and videos here http://wp.me/p4IuUx-5Hr 

Dec 26, 2016
Please consider donating to "Doctors Without Borders"
15:03

This is a quick message not a full episode and I just wanted to say a few words about donations, essentially this: If you’re thinking of sending me a donation this Christmas, you could instead consider sending your donation to a charity in order to help people who are in need of our assistance at the moment. So, rather than sending something to me, send it to others, by using a reputable charity like Doctors Without Borders, or Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) by going to http://www.msf.org/en/donate 

Episode page: https://teacherluke.co.uk/2016/12/22/a-quick-message-about-donations-please-consider-donating-to-doctors-without-borders-to-help-people-in-need/ 

Dec 22, 2016
410. Teaching 12 Idioms in the Street / On the Set of Paul's TV Show (with Amber)
01:13:28

Amber & I teach you 12 idiomatic English phrases while attending the filming of an episode of Paul's TV show on the street in Paris. Click the link below for videos and photos, and a list of the idioms with definitions - http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7n8 

Dec 20, 2016
409. A CHRISTMAS MEGA-RAMBLE with AMBER MINOGUE
01:33:49

A rambling conversation with Amber about Christmas and more! http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7ld 

Dec 16, 2016
408. Catching Up With Amber & Paul #4
01:19:11

Amber & Paul are back on the podcast and we do the usual catching-up session and go off on a few tangents about Amber's play, Paul's showbiz life, marshmallows, microphones, tea & coffee, accents and more... Visit the page for this episode to see a couple of videos - link coming soon. https://teacherluke.co.uk/2016/12/13/408-catching-up-with-amber-paul-4-videos/ 

Dec 13, 2016
407. Reflections on Language Learning & Working as a Translator: Interview with Kristina from Russia, Winner of the LEP Anecdote Competition 2016
49:52

In this episode you'll hear me talking to Kristina from Russia, the winner of the LEP anecdote competition this year. We talk about her work as a translator and interpreter, her reflections on language learning, how she learned English to a good level and some other bits and pieces! Click here for more info http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7ht 

Dec 07, 2016
406. Grammar (Past Continuous Tense) / UK Media Bias / Brazil Football Tragedy
01:10:09

More responses to questions and comments from listeners, including a comparison of past continuous & past simple verb tenses, comments about bias in the UK's media, the BBC, the newspapers, the Chapecoense Plane Crash in Colombia, and more. https://teacherluke.co.uk/2016/12/04/406-grammar-past-continuous-tense-uk-media-bias-brazil-football-tragedy/ 

Dec 04, 2016
405. British Accents in The Lord of the Rings (Part 2)
01:04:43

In this episode we continue to analyse the various British accents that you can hear in the film version of The Lord of the Rings. Let's consider the accents of some of the main characters, such as Frodo, Sam, Pippin, Merry, Treebeard, Elrond, Boromir, Gandalf, Saruman, Legolas, Gimli and the orcs. http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7fL 

Nov 30, 2016
404. British Accents in The Lord of the Rings (Part 1)
59:28

Talking about the different British accents you can hear in the Lord of the Rings movies. http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7fu 

Nov 30, 2016
403. Competition Results / War Story / Grammar & Punctuation / My Dad's Accent
01:15:30

The final results of the LEP Anecdote Competition, some podcast admin and responses to some comments & emails from listeners including a war story, some grammar (noun phrases, possessives & apostrophes) and a question about my Dad's accent. http://wp.me/p4IuUx-7es 

Nov 29, 2016
402. The Rick Thompson Report: What’s Going On? Nov. 2016 (Post-Truth Politics, Cricket and Tetris)
01:07:00

Talking to my Dad about recent news, and we talked about Brexit, post-truth politics, the US election, the right-wing press in the UK, the political landscape in the EU, the rules of international cricket and the music from Tetris. http://wp.me/p4IuUx-75O 

Nov 23, 2016
401. ‘Switch off your editor’ to improve your fluency in English
54:15

Welcome back to the podcast. This is episode 401 and it’s about developing your fluency in English. I’m going to talk about creativity, open and closed thinking and about how turning off your internal editor can help you to make more progress in your language learning.

https://teacherluke.co.uk/2016/11/21/401-switch-off-your-editor-to-improve-your-fluency-in-english/ 

Nov 21, 2016
400. The Pink Gorilla Story 2
01:22:25

I've decided to celebrate the 400th episode of LEP by making up an improvised comedy story, just for fun. In fact, this is the long-awaited sequel to The Pink Gorilla Story from episode 125. http://wp.me/p4IuUx-78D 

Nov 18, 2016
399. The Return of Molly Martinez (with Dane Nightingale)
01:18:21

Talking with two American friends about journalism, how the internet works, the US presidential election results, California's new marijuana laws and puffins. http://wp.me/p4IuUx-776 

Nov 15, 2016
398. US Election Ramble + Message + Song
01:06:16

In this episode I want to talk about two things: My first impressions of the US Presidential election result, and then some things I said in the last episode of this podcast. I just want to clear up some comments I made last time. I just want to get straight into it. So here we go. Click here for the page for this episode http://wp.me/p4IuUx-73G 

Nov 09, 2016
397. An 80-Minute Ramble
01:22:08

Talking spontaneously about gloves, mittens, OO7, Bob Dylan, an LEP app, The Walking Dead, Oasis, Black Mirror, The Crown, a bit of politics and some 10-year cave-aged cheddar cheese. Click here for the page for this episode http://teacherluke.co.uk/2016/11/07/397-ramble-on/  ‎ 

Nov 07, 2016
396. The LEP Anecdote Competition - ROUND 2
01:10:46

This episode is round 2 of the LEP anecdote competition. You'll be able to hear the 10 anecdotes that got the most votes from round one and some language feedback afterwards. Click here to vote for your favourite stories in the poll http://wp.me/p4IuUx-72K 

Oct 28, 2016
395. "Have you ever...?" with Paul Taylor and Robert Hoehn
01:11:22

In this episode I'm joined by Paul Taylor and Robert Hoehn and we do a speaking exercise that I often use in my classes to help my students to practise using different grammatical structures in their speaking. I thought it would be interesting to record some native speakers doing the exercise too, so that's what you'll hear in this episode, as well as various little anecdotes, a few jokes and general chat. The conversation contains swearing and a few humourous comments which shouldn't be taken too seriously. Click here for the page for this episode http://wp.me/p4IuUx-71a 

Oct 27, 2016
394. OPP: Other People's Podcasts (Part 4)
55:18

Here are some more of my favourite podcasts. You might like to listen to them too, even if they're difficult to understand because they're not specifically for learners of English. It's good to challenge yourself sometimes, so why not try listening to these. If I like them, you might like them too. Click here for the page for this episode http://wp.me/p4IuUx-70z 

Oct 23, 2016
393. OPP: Other People's Podcasts (Part 3)
42:45

In this episode I'm going to recommend some other people's podcasts that you might also enjoy. Last time, in episodes 236 and 237 I recommended some of my favourite podcasts. I recommended a mix of British and American podcasts. This time I'm going to tell you about some more but we're focusing only on British podcasts this time - ones that are produced in the UK and on which you can listen to British voices. Click here for the page for this episode http://wp.me/p4IuUx-5gQ 

Oct 22, 2016
392. What are the most essential skills of a good foreign language learner?
01:21:25

This episode is full of what I hope will be more useful insight and advice on how to learn English as an adult so that you don't end up sounding like a robot, because you're learning English or at least maintaining your English and it's a long-term process, there are right and wrong ways of doing it and I want to support you along the way. The main aim of this podcast is to help you stay on track as you continue to develop your English, trying to find new ways and improving the old ways so that you get a grip on this language. This episode represents not just my ideas but also the thoughts, conclusions and recommendations of plenty of other linguists and polyglots who certainly should know what they're talking about because they've either studied the process of language acquisition or they've learned multiple languages themselves. Contained in this episode is a distillation of lots of experiences, research and common knowledge about language learning, including my own thoughts and practical tips which I've picked up after 15 years of teaching English as a foreign language. I hope this will be a motivating, inspiring and interesting episode for you to listen to as part of your English learning journey. So, let's go. Click here for the page for this episode http://wp.me/p4IuUx-2NT 

Oct 19, 2016
391. Discussing Language, Culture & Comedy with Alexander van Walsum
50:50

Here's a conversation with a friend of mine who originally comes from the Netherlands but he has lived all over the world. You're going to hear us talking about cultural differences, Dutch stereotypes, doing business in France, the UK and the USA, the different communication styles in those places, doing stand up comedy and getting Darth Vader's signature. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoyed recording it. Click here for the episode page http://wp.me/p4IuUx-6YN 

Oct 17, 2016
390. The Rick Thompson Report: Hard Brexit / U.S. Election
59:17

This is a conversation with my dad about recent news, including a Brexit update, the US presidential election, Obama's plans to send people to Mars and back and more... Click here for the page for this episode http://wp.me/p4IuUx-6YS 

Oct 14, 2016
389. US Presidential Election 2016 - Trump vs Clinton (with Sarah & Sebastian) Part 2
46:46

Here is part two of my conversation with Sarah and Sebastian from the USA about the upcoming presidential election. In this episode we turn our attention to Hillary Clinton. Click here for the page for this episode http://wp.me/p4IuUx-6Yd 

Oct 11, 2016
388. US Presidential Election 2016 - Trump vs Clinton (with Sarah & Sebastian) Part 1
44:20

The presidential election in the USA is about a month away and I've been meaning  to talk about this subject on the podcast for ages. So in this episode you're going to hear me in conversation with a couple of American friends of mine who you might already know from their previous appearances on this podcast - Sarah Donnelly and Sebastian Marx. We sat down in my flat today to talk about the elections, Hillary Clinton, DonaldTrump, their thoughts, feelings, opinions and predictions on the whole thing. Click here for the page for this episode http://teacherluke.co.uk/2016/10/11/388-us-presidential-election-2016-trump-vs-clinton-with-sarah-and-sebastian/ 

Oct 11, 2016
387. LEP Anecdote Competition Entries - Please Listen & Vote
47:44

Voting is now open in the first round of the LEP Anecdote Competition. You can listen to all the anecdotes on the page for this episode and vote for your favourites using a simple poll. I'll give you the full details and instructions in this episode. I'm also going to talk about the results of the podcast survey I did recently and a couple of other things, including the top countries for LEP this week. Click here for this episode's page http://wp.me/p4IuUx-6W3 

Oct 07, 2016
386. Breaking the Intermediate Plateau (Part 2)
42:02

Here's part 2 of this episode about ways you can push your English to higher levels even if you feel that your progress is stuck or moving very slowly. Click here for the page for this episode http://wp.me/p4IuUx-6WB 

Oct 05, 2016
385. Breaking the Intermediate Plateau (Part 1)
53:54

This episode is about ways you can push your English to higher levels even if you feel that your progress is stuck or moving very slowly. I'm talking about a very common phenomenon in English learning called the intermediate plateau. This is where you seem to stop making progress and can't reach and advanced level. Click here for the page for this episode http://wp.me/p4IuUx-6Wl 

Oct 05, 2016
384. Teaching Grammar & Social English
01:08:53

In this episode I'm talking about recent things I’ve been teaching in my classes including some grammar and some social English. There's an absolultely massive amount of grammar crammed into this epsiode and quite a lot of silly improvisation too! http://wp.me/p4IuUx-6Vm 

Sep 30, 2016
383. More Ian Moore
01:17:49

In this episode you are going to hear part 2 of my conversation with Ian Moore and I've decided to call this one "More Ian Moore" - do you see what I've done there? "more Ian Moore" I bet nobody has ever made that joke about his name before, right? Before we listen to Ian Moore, I just want to mention a few things...

Click here for the page for this episode: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-6Tj 

Sep 27, 2016
Please take my survey / Anecdote Competition / 'Russian Joke' Video
28:02

This is just a 'quick' message from me to you about a podcast survey on the website, a reminder of the anecdote competition, a new video I've made about the Russian joke and some more rambling about things like The Beatles and conspiracy theories. The next 'proper' episode will be uploaded in a few days.

Click here for the page for this episode to take the survey: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-6U5 

Sep 23, 2016
382. Mod Culture with Ian Moore
59:11

Today on the podcast I'm talking to Ian Moore, who is a professional stand up comedian, published author and mod from London. Ian is probably the best dressed man ever to appear on this podcast. He is also a professional talker with many things to say. In this part we talk mainly about mod culture.

http://wp.me/p4IuUx-6RQ

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Sep 21, 2016
381. Discussing Cultural Differences (with Amber & Paul)
01:03:17

In this episode I'm talking to my friends Amber and Paul about cultural differences, particularly in the ways we communicate with each other in different countries.

Details: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-5wO

 italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Sep 16, 2016
380. Catching Up with Amber and Paul #3
01:11:23

In this episode the PODPALS Amber and Paul are back and we're going to have the normal catching up session in which they talk about what they have been up to recently. As usual we sit on the terrace and get interrupted by insects, the sun, neighbours on their balconies around us (including a naked man eating his lunch) and the inevitable references to a certain Russian joke that always comes up in our conversations.

Episode page: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-6Qk

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Sep 12, 2016
379. The LEP Anecdote Competition
54:03

Details of a new LEP competition / Competition rules / Advice & Tips / Inspiration / Some Funny Anecdotes

Transcript & videos here: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-6Pr

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Sep 07, 2016
378. Holiday in Thailand (Part 2)
01:26:48

Here is part 2 of this description of my recent holiday in Thailand. In this one you can hear more stories and descriptions about different parts of the country, learning how to cook, a conversation with a monk, doing yoga every day, a couple of messages from listeners and some reflections on gratitude, forgiveness and guidance.

Transcript and notes here http://wp.me/p4IuUx-6Ol

italki offer http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Sep 05, 2016
377. Holiday in Thailand (Part 1)
01:17:30

This episode contains stories and descriptions of my recent holiday in Thailand. You'll hear some facts about Thailand, some descriptions of Bangkok and a few stories about funny experiences that happened while we were there. Part 2 is coming soon. More details and transcriptions below.

Enjoy! http://wp.me/p4IuUx-6O7 

italki offer http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Sep 03, 2016
I'm going on holiday - no podcasts for a while
23:50

This is not a full episode of the podcast - I'm just letting you know that I'm going away for a few weeks so there will be no podcasts for a little while. We're getting away from it all for a few weeks. I probably won't be online much, perhaps not at all. A couple of places we're going to don't have any internet at all. It's going to be a bit of a digital detox. So, I won't be uploading episodes for a while, and I won't be responding to comments and stuff, but I look forward to reading your comments when I get back.

More details here http://wp.me/p4IuUx-6Me 

Aug 12, 2016
376. A Game of Mini Golf and a Pint (with James)
53:45

In this episode my brother James and I go for a game of mini golf in the local park, and then head to the pub for a pint of beer. While doing that we have a discussion about English history, life in the countryside vs life in the city, the London riots of 2011 and how James feels about being a guest on my podcast. I've uploaded a lot of new episodes recently but that's going to stop soon when I go away on holiday for a few weeks.

Click here for more details and a transcript of some sections of the episode http://wp.me/p4IuUx-6Mh 

Audible offer http://www.audibletrial.com/teacherluke 

Aug 12, 2016
375. The LEP Pub Quiz (with Alex Love)
51:01

In this conversation Alex is in Edinburgh in Scotland and I'm in Warwick in England. In the previous episode we talked about pub quizzes and how they're a common part of pub culture in the UK, so I thought we would play a kind of pub quiz with each other. The only problem is that neither of us are in a pub, but that doesn't matter - this is a podcast and you can use your imagination.

Details here http://wp.me/p4IuUx-6M2

Audible offer http://www.audibletrial.com/teacherluke 

Aug 12, 2016
374. Alex's Edinburgh Fringe Report
47:20

In this episode I talk to Alex Love in Edinburgh about his show, some details about the culture of pub quizzes in the UK and we go off on several quite instructive tangents about stag and hen parties, male strippers, The Smurfs and the anatomy of giant squid, which are large sea creatures with tentacles. That sounds quite random but it's not really. It's actually perfectly logical and it will all become clear as you listen to the conversation, and I think there's quite a lot to learn about British culture in this episode as you'll see. I've also highlighted a lot of vocabulary for you to watch out for.

Click here for the details http://wp.me/p4IuUx-6Ls

Audible offer http://www.audibletrial.com/teacherluke 

Aug 12, 2016
373. Who Wants to Be Good at English?
49:51

This episode is a game show hosted by my Dad, with me as the contestant. The aim of the game is to see how many words I know. My Dad designed this quiz for his students of journalism at the university where he works sometimes. The quiz is specifically designed to highlight what he considers to be common misuses and misunderstandings of words. His opinion is that journalists writing and presenting on television should use words in exactly the right way, even if many people use those words to mean different things in general everyday use.

http://wp.me/p4IuUx-6LA

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Aug 10, 2016
372. The Importance of Anecdotes in English / Narrative Tenses / 4 Family Anecdotes
01:10:39

This episode of the podcast is all about telling anecdotes in English. Anecdotes are little stories about our experiences that we share while socialising. It's important to have a few anecdotes of your own and to know how to tell them properly. In this episode I'm going to give you some advice for how to tell an anecdote and then you're going to listen to some true anecdotes told by members of my family that I recorded yesterday evening during dinner.

http://wp.me/p4IuUx-6KT 

italki offer http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Aug 09, 2016
371. In Conversation with Rob Ager from Liverpool (PART 2: Film Analysis / Hidden Meanings / Stanley Kubrick / Conspiracy Theory)
46:29

This is part 2 of my conversation with Rob Ager from Liverpool, who makes documentaries about films and publishes them himself on his website Collative Learning. If you haven't heard part 1 yet, you should check that out before listening to part 2. In this conversation we talk about Rob's approach to film analysis, hidden meanings in films, the work of Stanley Kubrick and the conspiracy theory about the moon landing.

More details here http://wp.me/p4IuUx-6Ji

italki offer http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk  

Aug 07, 2016
370. In Conversation with Rob Ager from Liverpool (PART 1: Life in Liverpool / Interest in Film Analysis)
43:45

Today on the podcast I'm talking to Rob Ager from Liverpool, who is probably best known for his film analysis videos on YouTube in which he discusses classic Hollywood thrillers, sci-fi and action movies in quite astonishing levels of detail, often focusing on deep psychological and political themes and hidden messages that most viewers probably wouldn't even notice. His videos are carefully constructed documentaries, made for educational purposes and all of them feature a voice-over commentary by Rob in which he analyses the film and gives his observations.

http://wp.me/p4IuUx-6J3

italki offer: Http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Aug 07, 2016
369. Pokémon GO - It's just a game, OR IS IT?
01:17:37

Today I'm talking about Pokemon Go. It's a global phenomenon and there are lots of things to say about it. It's not just a stupid game, there's a lot more to it than that. So, in this episode I'm going to describe Pokemon the game, then talk about Pokemon GO, including what it is, how it works, what people are saying about it, why it's so significant, what some of the good points and bad points are, and what this might mean for the future.

Notes & transcript here: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-6IB

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk 

Aug 03, 2016
368. The LEP Annual General Meeting 2016 / QUESTIONS
01:19:10

Welcome to the LEP Annual Meeting 2016, which actually doesn't take place on an annual basis. In this meeting I'm going to deal with various points of admin (including a language point about words like 'annual', 'biannual', 'biennial' etc, Pokemon Go, Transcript Collaboration, LEP Meet-Ups, Comedy shows, music, torrent sites and a comment from a vampire) and I'm going to ask you various questions during the episode.

Please give your answers to the questions (any of them) on the page for the episode here: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-6FP 

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Aug 02, 2016
367. Talking about Nothing with Alex Love (Invaded by Robot Aliens) PART 2
42:56

Hello and welcome to part 2 of this conversation with my friend Alex Love. If you haven't already heard part 1, I suggest you go back and listen to that. I've divided this episode into two parts just because I thought it was a bit long and that it would be easier for you to deal with two slightly shorter episodes than one epically long one.

Click here for the episode page http://wp.me/p4IuUx-6HQ 

italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Jul 31, 2016
366. Talking about Nothing with Alex Love (Invaded by Robot Aliens) PART 1
52:36

On the podcast today I am in conversation with Alex Love, who you might remember from some previous episodes of this podcast. Alex Love regularly performs stand-up comedy gigs in London and in Manchester where he now lives. At this moment he's preparing for the Edinburgh Festival where he will be performing a one-hour show which he has written himself, called "How to Win a Pub Quiz". The show is a mix of stand-up comedy and pub quiz trivia and it has had some good reviews at previous festivals. If you're in Edinburgh this August you can see Alex's show at a venue called The Stand in rooms 5 & 6 (venue 319) at 12 o'clock midday from 4 to 14 August. Click here to visit the page for this episode http://wp.me/p4IuUx-6FV 
italki offer: http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Jul 31, 2016
Quick Hello / Notting Hill Carnival Audio
37:05

Hi everyone, in this episode I'm just letting you know that I'm very busy at the moment, which is why I haven't uploaded an episode for a while. Normal podcasting will resume soon. In the meantime, you can listen to the audio track from a video I did in 2009 at the Notting Hill Carnival. There are 40 phrasal verbs in the video. Can you find them? You can see the video below, with a full transcript and all the phrasal verbs in a list + definitions. You're welcome! Click here for the page for this episode http://wp.me/p4IuUx-6FH 

Jul 27, 2016
365. BREXIT: 3 Weeks Later (A conversation with my Dad)
01:05:12

In this episode I finish the series I've been doing about Brexit in the same way that I started it, by having a conversation with my Dad. First I'll highlight some vocabulary and phrases, then you can hear my Dad giving his comments about what has happened since the UK voted to leave the EU three weeks ago. http://wp.me/p4IuUx-6DX 

Jul 17, 2016
364. TEN TOP TIPS for Learning English
55:52

LEP is back after a two-week absence. This episode is about top tips for learning English. Here are some ideas about learning English that have occurred to me in the last couple of weeks of teaching intensive general English classes at school. Click here for the page for this episode http://wp.me/p4IuUx-6D2 

Jul 15, 2016
363. Muhammad Ali & The Rumble in the Jungle
01:37:46

This is a special episode about Muhammad Ali and the story of one of his most famous fights, "The Rumble in the Jungle". In the episode you'll hear me give a biography of Ali and then I go into lots of descriptive detail about the fight, exploring exactly what happened in and out of the ring and why he is now considered not only one of the greatest boxers but one of the most outstanding people of recent times. The episode is almost 100% transcribed. See below for details http://wp.me/p4IuUx-6pv 

Jul 03, 2016
362. Getting things off my chest! (Part 2) Brexit / Football
01:07:49

Hello, welcome back to the podcast. This is part 2 of a fairly long rant I recorded today about the Brexit situation and England's awful performance in the football yesterday. There might be some strong language and swearing. There will also be lots of fairly strong political points of view from me. Please listen to the whole thing and try to avoid knee jerk reactions. If you disagree with me please feel free to leave a comment because I am open to other points of view - but I encourage you to fully flesh out your opinion, don't just give your knee-jerk reaction without backing it up with some evidence or justification. Click here for a transcript http://wp.me/p4IuUx-6vf 

Jun 28, 2016
361. Getting things off my chest! (Part 1) Brexit / Football
01:09:50

Here's another episode about what's going on in the UK at the moment - in politics and in football. I know I am talking about this subject a lot at the moment, but I just can't help it - it's too big. Too many things are happening! So there will be more Brexit & football in this episode and then it'll be back to podcasting as usual. Oh and by the way there will be some swearing in this episode because I'll be sharing some comments from some angry people online and generally there has been quite a lot of swearing and kicking of furniture all across the country since Friday - especially yesterday while watching England get knocked out of the Euros. Swearing is rarely appropriate - remember that. Only at the right time in the right place. E.g. when watching England play football, or while thinking for two seconds or more about the EU referendum. Also, another preface here - you'll notice that I'm pretty unhappy about things at the moment, but don't worry I'll bounce back, and Luke's English Podcast will continue with the usual sort of episodes soon. I just have to get some things off my chest about what's been going on. Click here for a transcript: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-6uU 

Jun 28, 2016
360. THE DAY AFTER BREXIT (Thoughts and feelings)
59:05

The UK has voted to leave the EU. Here are my thoughts and feelings. http://teacherluke.co.uk/2016/06/24/360-the-day-after-brexit-thoughts-and-feelings/ 

Jun 24, 2016
359. BREXIT JOKES / EU REFERENDUM NIGHT
48:38

It's referendum night and I've decided to share my stand-up comedy material about the EU referendum in this episode of the podcast, because after today I might not be able to use these jokes ever again! This works much better in front of a live audience of course - so you'll have to imagine that! Anyway, I hope you enjoy listening to some of my 'jokes' and humorous comments about this big moment in UK history. By the way, when I recorded this I didn't know the result of the referendum. Click here for more information http://teacherluke.co.uk/2016/06/24/359-brexit-jokes-eu-referendum-night/#disqus_thread 

Jun 23, 2016
358. World Music Festival in Paris / Fête de la Musique
01:39:09

Join my wife and *me as we walk around the streets of Paris during the annual World Music Festival. You'll hear live music, descriptions of the scene, a couple of conversations with people we met, and the sounds of this amazing evening in the city of light. It's another long episode, but I hope you listen to all of it because I just really want to share the atmosphere and moments of this special event. Check here for photos http://wp.me/p4IuUx-6rx 

Jun 22, 2016
357. Learning Languages with Olly Richards
01:02:27

In this episode I'm talking to Olly Richards the polyglot from England. Our conversation covers points about what accent you should learn to speak with, the importance of developing clear pronunciation and effective communication in English, using Periscope to listen to native English speakers and the physical side of learning a language. See below for a transcript to the introduction, more information and links to Olly's work. http://wp.me/p4IuUx-6pI 

Jun 19, 2016
356. News / Football / Brexit / Events in the UK / Jo Cox
01:14:16

Hello welcome to this LEP meeting. I've called this meeting in order to deal with some stuff that's going on at the moment. On the agenda for today we have some news, some football updates including the England vs Wales game from yesterday, some more Brexit chat and then at the I'll talk a bit about the incident that happened yesterday involving a British MP called Jo Cox, which is a pretty tragic story. That's still developing and we don't know the full facts yet. It just happened yesterday and by the time you listen to this it might have developed further. Click here for the page for this episode http://teacherluke.co.uk/2016/06/17/356-lep-meeting-football-brexit-events-in-the-uk-jo-cox/ 

Jun 17, 2016
355. EURO 2016 Football: Hooliganism & Violence in Marseille / England vs Russia
01:10:58

In this episode I talk about the EUROs including how it feels having the championship here in France, the violence in Marseille that occurred between English fans, Russian fans, local French fans and the French police this weekend, and the England vs Russia game that happened on Saturday. I welcome your comment on this subject so please share your thoughts under the page for this episode. A transcript is available for 95% of this episode. Click here to visit the page for this episode http://wp.me/p4IuUx-6qp  Image: UEFA.com

Jun 13, 2016
354. Would You Rather...? (with Amber, Paul & James Simpson)
01:32:56

aka "The Accordion Legs Episode" Listen to Amber, Paul, James Simpson and me as we play a light-hearted speaking game called "Would you rather...?" and hear about having accordions for legs, being stuck in a lift with a pair of wet dogs and living on a desert island with a mermaid (or merman). You'll also hear the results of the interactive lying game from episode 343. There are notes and some transcriptions below. Share your comments on the page for this episode. How would you answer these 'would you rather' questions? Notes and transcriptions here http://wp.me/p4IuUx-wF 

Jun 09, 2016
353. Award Ceremony / Paris Weather / Crazy Idea
47:46

This episode started with no title and no particular aim, but I ended up chatting about walking the red carpet at the ELTon awards, the rain and floods in Paris, getting struck by lightning, the revolution of fibre optic internet at home and a crazy idea about doing live podcast recordings around the world. Listen up! More details here http://wp.me/p4IuUx-6pp  Buy English lessons on italki and get a 100ITC discount here http://teacherluke.co.uk/talk 

Jun 07, 2016
352. BREXIT: Key Vocabulary and Concepts
01:39:17

This is a vocabulary episode about the language of BREXIT. Click this link for all the vocabulary http://wp.me/p4IuUx-6ma 

Jun 07, 2016
351. BREXIT: Should the UK leave the EU? (A conversation with my Dad)
01:19:09

Hello everyone, I hope you're well. Here is an episode featuring a conversation with my Dad about Brexit - The UK's referendum on the EU. Finally! I've been mentioning this for a while so here it is. You've seen it in the news, you've read it in the papers - the UK is having a referendum on membership of the European Union and who knows, we might end up leaving. It's all over the news and the internet in the UK at the moment, everyone's talking about it - you can't escape it and it's going to get more and more intense the closer we get to 23 June, the date of the referendum. I've had plenty of messages from listeners asking me to talk about this on the podcast, so here we go. Click here for the LEP Brexit poll and more http://wp.me/p4IuUx-6kQ  #brexit #eureferendum #english #language #learning

May 29, 2016
350. Film Club: X-Men Apocalypse (Review) SPOILER ALERT
01:04:22

This is the final episode in this superhero series and simply put, I'm going to make fun of the latest X-Men movie. Now, you might not be into the superhero stuff and I totally understand, but let me give you a heads up about this episode. Basically, I didn't like the film and so I'm more interested in poking fun at it than talking about it seriously. So, that might make it more fun to listen to than the other superhero ones I've done lately. You can just kick back and enjoy me taking the mickey out of this film. http://wp.me/p4IuUx-6kE 

May 25, 2016
349. Who's the best superhero? (with Paul Langton)
01:15:03

More movie-relating talking in this episode as I speak to my friend Paul Langton. Expect plenty of very descriptive vocabulary about different characters, backstories, abilities and weaknesses. Click here for notes and transcripts http://wp.me/p4IuUx-6jC 

May 24, 2016
Can I have a quick word with you? (It'll only take about 15 minutes)
15:51

Hi listeners - this is just a 15 minute episode. I just want to have a quick word with you. The thing is, I'm worried about a few things and I wanted to talk to you about them. Have a listen to this episode or read the notes below. Let me know what you think about what I'm saying in the comment section. Thanks! Luke :) http://teacherluke.co.uk/2016/05/23/can-i-have-a-quick-word-with-you-itll-only-take-about-15-minutes/ 

May 23, 2016
348. Film Club: Marvel / Captain America Civil War (Part 2)
57:12

Here is part 2 of this episode about superhero films and the Marvel cinematic universe. Before you listen to this I suggest that you listen to part 1. Where was I at the end of the last episode? I was giving you my history of superhero movies over the last 30-40 years, and the plan is to go into more detail about the recent Marvel films and then review the new Captain America movie. *No spoilers * So, let's continue. Click here for transcript/notes http://wp.me/p4IuUx-6jE 

May 19, 2016
347. Film Club: Marvel / Captain America Civil War (Part 1)
55:31

In this episode I'm talking about superheroes, Marvel movies and the latest Captain America film. By the way, I will do my best to avoid spoilers. I am only going to mention information which is basically common knowledge. I don't think listening to this will really spoil your enjoyment of any of the films in the marvel universe. So, you shouldn't worry about spoilers. Click here for transcript / notes http://wp.me/p4IuUx-6hU 

May 19, 2016
346. Rambling on a Friday Afternoon
01:17:32

Phrasal Verbs & Idioms / More NY Stories / Politics / Leicester City / Google Adverts Welcome back to another podcast episode. It's nice to be back in your headphones or speakers. In the last episode of this podcast I talked to you about some recent bits and pieces such as the ELTon award nomination, my recent trip to New York and some other stuff. I also gave you a language task to keep you on your toes. I'm going to continue along the same lines in this episode and I have a list of things here to talk about and we're going to continue with the language spotting exercise. http://wp.me/p4IuUx-6h0 

May 13, 2016
345. ELTon Award Nomination / Phrasal Verbs & Idioms / Brooklyn / The Revenant / Museum of Natural History & More
01:23:38

Breaking News! LEP Nominated for a British Council ELTon Award for Digital Innovation. In this episode you'll hear me talking about what's been going on since I recorded the last episode, including: LEP's nomination in the British Council ELTon awards, Leonardo DiCaprio fighting a bear in The Revenant, my adventure to the American Museum of Natural History and more. Also - for all the vocab hunters out there - watch out for some phrasal verbs and idioms. http://wp.me/p4IuUx-6bT 

May 11, 2016
344. A Totally Terrific Talk on the Terrace with The Tangential Trio (feat. Tom Morton)
01:23:49

What? Another new episode? Slow down Luke! We can't keep up! OK I will slow down, I promise. I am going on holiday tomorrow and I will be quiet for a couple of weeks so I just wanted to upload another podcast before I go. While I'm away you'll have a chance to catch up with all these new episodes. This is #344 and it's another rambling conversation with podcast PALS Amber & Paul, but this time we're joined by a fourth member of the team. Could this be The Fantastic Four that LEPster Olga mentioned in a recent comment? Only you can decide... Topics of conversation in this totally tangential talk on the terrace include: jingles, voice overs, the Queen's birthday, the monarchy, Princess Diana and more... Click here for the page for this episode http://wp.me/p4IuUx-63l  Groovy background music c/o http://www.bensound.com Photos (clockwise - left to right) Princess Diana, a ladybird, Fantastic Four logo, The Queen, Tim Curry, Dave Grohl, LEP logo)

Apr 22, 2016
343. The Interactive Lying Game (with Amber & Paul) / Descriptive Adjectives with T / Three is a Magic Number
01:32:15

In this episode I'm joined by podcast pals Amber & Paul and we're playing the Lying Game again, but this is a special version because this is The Interactive Lying Game. I know - it's exciting. Try to control yourself. Find details, adjectives, nicknames, polls and links to song lyrics on the page for this episode here http://wp.me/p4IuUx-5Y9 

Apr 20, 2016
342. Paul's "La Bise" Video Success / Audition Story (with Amber & Paul)
01:07:51

In this episode I'm joined by podcast pals Amber & Paul and we talk about Paul's hit youtube video about French kissing habits, his newfound success as a stand-up (he's the hottest kid in town), some online abuse he's had and then an anecdote about an audition that we attended recently, which involved a surprising misunderstanding about accents. There's also a brief language focus on using relative clauses with 'which' to extend your sentences when speaking. Enjoy! Click here for the page for this episode and to watch Paul's video http://wp.me/p4IuUx-62J  Image: c/o Robert Hoehn / French Fried TV

Apr 18, 2016
341. Catching Up With Amber & Paul, Again
01:00:01

Amber & Paul are back on the podcast after a 4 month absence. What have they been doing? Let's catch up with them again, and respond to some comments from listeners. This episode was recorded in the open air, up on the terrace of my flat in the April sunshine. Click here to find the page for this episode http://wp.me/p4IuUx-5Zj 

Apr 15, 2016
340. LEP Photo Competition Results & Winners / It's LEP's 7th Birthday
01:43:01

Results & winners of the LEP photo competition announced, and - it's the 7th birthday of Luke's English Podcast! This episode is long but you don't have to listen to it in one go. You can listen, pause, do something else, listen later and so on. Click here for the page for this episode to see photos and vote in a poll about names: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-5Yb 

Apr 07, 2016
339. A Murder Mystery Detective Story (Part 2 of 2)
01:06:25

Here is the concluding part of this detective story, which is based on a text adventure by Peter Carlson on www.textadventures.co.uk. In the first part you heard me playing an adventure game in which I have to analyse clues and choose the right options to continue a story and solve a murder. Before listening to this episode you should listen to part 1 of the story. Click here here to listen to part 1: http://teacherluke.co.uk/2016/03/31/338-a-murder-mystery-detective-story/ In this episode (part 2) you'll hear the rest of the story, and if you don't understand what's going on - don't worry, I'll explain it at the end and you can read a summary of the story below. Enjoy! Visit the page for this episode here http://wp.me/p4IuUx-5Wc 

Apr 03, 2016
338. A Murder Mystery Detective Story (Part 1 of 2)
01:13:12

In this episode I'm going to read through an interactive text-based adventure story. The story takes place in Victorian-era London (19th century) and we'll play the part of an expert detective who, like Sherlock Holmes, tries to solve a complex murder mystery. Follow me as I read through the story and attempt to solve the crime in the process. Can you understand the evidence and make the right decisions to solve the case? You can read the text-based adventure story and play the game yourself at textadventures.co.uk For all the relevant details, click here http://wp.me/p4IuUx-5W6 

Mar 31, 2016
337. MURDER MILE WALKS: Stories of London's Most Infamous & Shocking Murders [Some Explicit Content + Swearing]
01:36:18

In this episode I'm talking to Moz on his canal boat in London. We talk first about issues relating to swearing on television, and then Moz tells us some true stories about murder on the streets of London. Moz has recently launched several walking tours of Soho in central London and over the last year or two he has been researching local court records in order to tell these true stories in full detail. CAUTION: this episode contains some explicit content including descriptions of violence and horror. There is also some strong language and swearing at the end of the episode. Click here for the page for this episode http://wp.me/p4IuUx-5Re 

Mar 23, 2016
336. Drinking Scottish Whisky at a German Business Meeting While Wearing a Kilt and Playing a Flute... and other stories (with Carrick Cameron)
01:28:59

This episode features another natural conversation with a native English speaker. This time I'm talking to my mate Carrick, who I've known for about 10 years now. He is a teacher who used to work in the same school as me, back in London. We have a few things in common, like the fact that we've both had a few strange travelling experiences as English teachers, including the time when he once attended a meeting in Germany that involved not only the usual business work but also the drinking of some very rare and expensive scotch whiskies, which meant that the meeting turned into a kind of musical party with guitar and flute playing, quite a lot of whisky drinking, a late night and then, unsurprisingly, a bit of a hangover the next day. Listen to hear a few anecdotes, some authentic English conversation and more. http://wp.me/p4IuUx-5Qg 

Mar 16, 2016
335. VOCABULARY REVIEW: Phrases & Expressions from Episode 334
59:20

This episode is a chance to review and explain some of the vocabulary that you heard in my interview with Craig Wealand. Download the episode and read the list of words in this episode here http://wp.me/p4IuUx-5LB 

Mar 13, 2016
334. Interview with Craig Wealand (from InglesPodcast)
01:27:10

This episode features an interview with English teacher and podcaster Craig Wealand from InglesPodcast.com Craig is originally from Essex in England, but now lives in Valencia in Spain where he works as an English teacher and Cambridge examiner for the British Council. Craig has been an English teacher for over 20 years, and for the last few years he has also been producing episodes of his learning English podcast, which won the award for Best Educational Podcast in the UK Podcaster awards last year. In the episode we find out about Craig, talk about his career, his teaching experiences, his podcasting and also I ask him some random "quick fire" questions, just like he does with guests on his podcast. The page for this episode: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-5La 

Mar 09, 2016
333. More Misheard Lyrics ♬
01:32:33

OK, the last misheard lyrics episode was pretty popular and I've had several shouts of "more!" from the LEP community, so here we go again! What's this all about? Well, first of all it's a sequel to a previous episode of LEP. That's #281 "Misheard Lyrics" so you could listen to that before you listen to this. Basically, this episode is all about those moments when you mishear song lyrics. Let's have some fun listening to some songs, while trying to understand the lyrics! Click here for song titles and show notes http://wp.me/p4IuUx-4Cl 

Mar 01, 2016
332. Olly Richards: English Polyglot - Top Advice and Strategies for Language Learning
01:28:44

This episode could make a huge difference to your English learning. So listen up and get ready for a motivational boost! Joining me on the podcast today is Olly Richards - a polyglot who speaks 8 languages. Olly has some very motivating and practical advice on how to learn languages as an adult. There's so much to learn from Olly in this episode, so I really want you to pay attention and have a proper think about the ways in which you are learning English. (I really sound like a teacher, don't I? - or your Dad or something - "Now pay attention! Sit up straight! Put that down! Stop fidgeting. Listen to the man! This is very important for your English in the future!) Click here for all the info http://wp.me/p4IuUx-5oz 

Feb 26, 2016
331. How's your English? (and why speaking is so important)
01:23:50

Hi listeners, I've got a big big slice of podcast pie for you in this episode because I'm going to talk to you about some important considerations for language learning, some ways that you can push your English to new levels with LEP, and I'm going to talk about italki, which is a really great service that you can use to arrange conversations with native English speakers online from the comfort of your own home, and why as a listener to this podcast, you should check it out. There is also a transcript for this episode already available at teacherluke.co.uk so check that out too. http://wp.me/p4IuUx-5Gf 

Feb 22, 2016
330. Let's Play... Grand Theft Auto 5 (and learn some English while doing it)
01:42:48

Hi listeners - this is a multitasking episode in which I record a podcast while doing something else at the same time. In this case I'm playing the classic computer game "Grand Theft Auto 5". Listen to hear some general discussion of the game, descriptions of what's happening while playing and some other bits and pieces. Transcript for the introduction available here: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-5Gj 

Feb 17, 2016
329. A Rambling Chat with James (News, Stories & Jokes)
01:18:05

My brother has been visiting me in Paris this week and so just the other day I made him a cup of tea and got him on the podcast for a rambling chat. In this episode you'll hear us discussing these things: What we've been up to in Paris this week Jim's first stand up comedy performance Last Thursday's performance of "Sorry, we're English" with Paul Taylor Differences between Paris and London Some UK politics about the EU referendum Some USA politics about the presidential elections and candidates like Donald Trump, Hilary Clinton and Bernie Sanders Other news stories about drones, eagles, mosquitos and why women yawn more than men Jim's 'talking dog' joke Jim's dog anecdote That's it! There will be more language-oriented episodes of the podcast coming soon. Thanks for listening! Click here for the show notes http://wp.me/p4IuUx-5H8 

Feb 14, 2016
328. Cooking with Luke - Verbs and Expressions in the Kitchen
52:38

I've been quite busy marking exams recently and haven't had a chance to upload any episodes for a few weeks, but today I managed to record this episode while preparing dinner. So in this one you'll hear me in the kitchen, multitasking - cooking a chicken dinner (recipe below) while describing everything that I'm doing. In this episode you'll learn some verbs for preparing food, words to describe different kitchen utensils and other language related to food and eating. Also, I ramble on about a few other things, as usual! Expect more podcasts to arrive in the near-ish future when I have a bit more time. Thanks for listening! Episode page http://wp.me/p4IuUx-5EM 

Feb 03, 2016
327. The LEP Photo Competition - Please check out the photos and vote
37:13

Hello listeners - this episode is all about the Luke's English Podcast photo competition which I launched in December in episode 313. I've received loads of photos from listeners and they're now presented on the page for this episode on my website, and they look fantastic, so please do have a look at them! In this episode I'm going to tell you how you can vote in the competition, and I'm also going to teach you some specific vocabulary and expressions for describing photographs, which is particularly useful if you're taking a Cambridge exam like FCE or CAE. That's what's going to to happen in this episode, so let's go! http://wp.me/p4IuUx-5zO 

Jan 20, 2016
326. Catching up with Oli (Part 2)
59:35

Here's the second part of the recent chat I had with my cousin Oliver. In this one we talk about becoming a Dad and predictions for the future. What will society be like in the next 10-20 years? What changes will we see in communication, technology, travel and other areas? What kind of world will Oliver's daughter grow up in? These are all questions we discuss in the episode. Watch out for language related to the future, technology, communication and childcare. Also, listen until the end to hear Oli play a nice tune on the guitar. Click here to go to the page for this episode on teacherluke.co.uk http://wp.me/p4IuUx-5yK 

Jan 20, 2016
325. Catching Up with Oli (Part 1)
44:55

Here's a 2-part episode featuring a conversation with my cousin Oliver in which we talk about first some challenges he faced over the last few years (including dramatic things like a scooter crash, a tropical disease, a burglary and how he completely flooded his own house) and then some more positive things about being a father and predictions for how society will be different in the future. Also, listen for some general news and announcements about Luke's English Podcast. http://teacherluke.co.uk/2016/01/18/325-catching-up-with-oli-future-predictions/ 

Jan 18, 2016
324. David Bowie (Part 2)
57:34

Hello, welcome to Luke's English Podcast, which is a  podcast for learners of English around the world. You are now listening to part 2 of a special episode about English musician David Bowie who died just a few days ago on 10 January 2016. The aim of this episode is to talk about David Bowie's significance as an artist, to consider some of the themes of his work and to look at why so many people had such a strong emotional attachment to him. Hopefully after listening to this episode you'll be better able to have conversations about David Bowie, but also about art and culture in general. You can find almost everything I'm saying transcribed on the page for this episode. Click here to read it and to access other content http://wp.me/p4IuUx-5yd 

Jan 14, 2016
323. David Bowie (Part 1)
59:52

This episode is all about the life and work of David Bowie, the English musician who died just a couple of days ago. In the episode you'll hear me talk about the cultural significance of Bowie as an artist, why he is such a legend of British music, and what his music means to me personally. I hope you can use this episode as a way to learn more about British culture. Almost 100% of the episode is transcribed on the page for this episode - click here to read it http://wp.me/p4IuUx-5xQ 

Jan 14, 2016
322. With The Thompsons
01:30:55

Hello again, how are you? Welcome back to the podcast. Here's a new episode for your listening pleasure. This one is a rambling conversation with my parents and my brother about everything and nothing. Click here for notes and ting http://wp.me/p4IuUx-5vv 

Jan 07, 2016
321. Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens - SPOILER REVIEW
01:33:14

Welcome back to Luke's English Podcast. Happy New Year. This is an episode of Luke's Film Club, and this time I'm joined by my brother James as we talk about the new Star Wars film in full detail including our thoughts, theories, favourite bits and memorable characters. This episode is full of SPOILERS, so be warned if you haven't already seen the film. Click here for more information http://wp.me/p4IuUx-5vt 

Jan 04, 2016
320. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
51:58

In this episode I'm going to read you a classic Christmas story - A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. You can read the story as well as listen because the whole thing is included on the page for this episode. Click here for a transcript http://wp.me/p4IuUx-5s8 

Dec 23, 2015
319. Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens - Reaction (No spoilers)
29:23

I saw Star Wars today VII and here's my response. No spoilers. :)

https://teacherluke.co.uk/2015/12/16/319-star-wars-vii-the-force-awakens-reaction-no-spoilers/ 

 

Dec 16, 2015
318. The Lying Game 2: The Rematch (Part 2) with Amber & Paul
49:59

Welcome back to The Lying Game 2: The Rematch (Part 2). In this episode you can hear Amber, Paul and me continue our competitive game. Who's going to win this time? Will it be Paul, finally? Listen to find out what happens, and for details of the next version of the lying game which will be interactive. Click here for notes and more: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-5pJ 

Dec 16, 2015
317. The Lying Game 2: The Rematch (Part 1) with Amber & Paul
01:07:00

This episode is called "The Rematch". It's one of those episodes that involves a competitive game between Amber, Paul and me. In the last one of these, called The Lying Game, this happened: The scores were level between me and Paul. Even stevens. We then played a tie-breaker. I told a story about the tooth fairy. Paul talked about burning down his house. I identified it as true. Since then, it has come to light that I may have cheated. I swear that I didn't, but some clever listeners noted that a story Paul told in The Lying Game was one he'd already told on the podcast before. So, I admit that a rematch is necessary, and here it is. This is The Lying Game 2: The Rematch. Click here for the page for this episode http://wp.me/p4IuUx-5pg 

Dec 11, 2015
316. British Comedy: Tim Vine (Part 2)
01:19:03

Listen to Luke explain the rest of Tim Vine's stand up routine from the video "One Night Stand". Learn some natural phrases and bridge the linguistic and cultural gap between you and native speakers of English. Click here for notes and to see the video: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-5nA 

Dec 07, 2015
315. Do me a favour - Take my Business English Survey!
19:00

Hello listeners, this episode of the podcast is entitled: Do me a favour - Take my business English survey! It's called that because I'd like to invite you to take a very quick survey on my website. You can find the survey at http://www.teacherluke.co.uk/businessenglishsurvey. Please do take the survey. It'll just take you a couple of minutes, but it will be extremely helpful for me because I'm planning new ways to help you. So, do me a favour and take the survey! Listen to this whole episode to find out all the details. There's a transcript available too. Click here for the transcript & survey http://wp.me/p4IuUx-5hc 

Dec 03, 2015
314. Luke's Guided Sleep Meditation
48:27

Fancy brushing up your grammar while getting a really good night's sleep? Yes? Well, this episode is for you. It's a guided sleep meditation to make you feel all drowsy and relaxed with added hypnopedia - that's hypnosis and sleep learning both at the same time. So, kick off your shoes, turn down the lights, lie back, relax and drift off into an ambient dream state, while learning some English in the process. Don't listen to this while driving. Transcript here http://wp.me/p4IuUx-5a1  zzzzzzzzzZZZZZzzzzzzZZZZZZzzzzzzz

Dec 01, 2015
313. British Comedy: Tim Vine
01:09:50

In this episode we're going to listen to some stand-up comedy by a popular British comedian called Tim Vine, which should be pretty challenging because he tells lots of puns and fast jokes. Send me your photos: podcastcomp@gmail.com But before that, I just want to tell you about a new competition that I'm launching today for listeners to this podcast. This is the Luke's English Podcast photo competition. For all the details, to download this episode and to watch a video of Tim Vine, click here http://wp.me/p4IuUx-5iJ 

Nov 27, 2015
312. The Words of the Year (Part 3)
01:33:56

Here's the third part in this series about the Collins Dictionary Words of the Year 2015. Listen to the episode to hear Amber, Paul and me discuss the rest of the words in the list. I'll also explain and clarify some vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation from our discussion. There are vocabulary notes and more information here http://wp.me/p4IuUx-5fy 

Nov 25, 2015
311. The Words of the Year (Part 2) *contains some rude language
01:17:00

Welcome to part 2 of this series about the Collins Dictionary Words of the year 2015. In this episode you'll hear me discuss these new words with Amber and Paul. I'll also explain and clarify a lot of the things you'll hear in our conversation. ***This episode contains some rude language and explicit content.*** Click here to read vocabulary notes and more http://wp.me/p4IuUx-5fx 

Nov 18, 2015
310. The Words of the Year (Part 1)
52:25

In this series of three new episodes Amber, Paul and I talk about a list of the 10 Words of the Year which have been added to the Collins English Dictionary. We're going to explain the words and discuss the issues behind them and I'll also explain and clarify a lot of the language you're going to hear in our conversation. For a transcript of the introduction and vocabulary notes click here http://wp.me/p4IuUx-5es 

Nov 18, 2015
Attacks in Paris - Paul Taylor's Eyewitness Account
01:20:42

Hi listeners, this episode of LEP is all about the terrorist attacks which happened here last Friday evening. I'm joined by Paul Taylor and we're just going to try to talk about what we saw, what happened and what's going on. Click here for a transcript of some parts of this episode http://wp.me/p4IuUx-5g0  #eyewitness #parisattacks #report

Nov 16, 2015
309. The Lying Game (Part 2)
01:04:42

Welcome back to the second part of this double episode. In part 1 you heard me playing a speaking game with Paul & Amber. Go back to part 1 for the details of the game, including the rules. Part 1 ended on a cliffhanger, with the scores even at 2-2-2. Even stevens! Listen to this episode to find out more. TEACHERS: At the end there's a 15 minute section in which I explain exactly how to use this game in your English classes. You can download a simple .pdf worksheet (below) which you can use in your classes (just tell your students about LEP, or send me a little donation). Listen until the end of the episode to get my full instructions on how to use this awesome game to teach your students grammar, pronunciation, vocabulary and speaking skills in a really awesome way. Click here for more information and to download a .pdf of classroom material for teachers http://wp.me/p4IuUx-5bI 

Nov 11, 2015
308. The Lying Game (Part 1)
01:09:50

Hello, welcome back to LEP. This episode is called the lying game, and it's one of those ones in which I play a speaking game with my friends Amber and Paul. Click here for the page for this episode http://wp.me/p4IuUx-59z. A transcript for the first 15-20 minutes is available, just click the link given above. In the introduction you'll hear me welcome new listeners, talk a bit about my speaking speed on the podcast, mention the importance of listening to native speakers of English (even if it's a bit difficult to understand every word) and explain some of the content of the conversation you'll hear between Amber, Paul and me. Then, the speaking game begins properly. I really hope you have as much fun listening to this as we did recording it, because we really enjoyed ourselves! In part 2 (coming soon) you'll hear the conclusion of the game and I'll explain how I use this activity with my students in my English classes. http://wp.me/p4IuUx-59z 

Nov 08, 2015
307. The Mystery of Corporate Jargon & Management Speak (Part 2)
43:05

'Peeling back the onion' on management speak and corporate jargon. This episode focuses on defining and explaining the examples of language you heard at the beginning of the last episode. You'll hear Paul and me going through all the phrases and by the end you should be able to understand it all, and you could create your own version of bullsh*t bingo! Click here to read definitions and to print some bulls*t bingo cards http://wp.me/p4IuUx-5cf 

Nov 04, 2015
306. The Mystery of Corporate Jargon & Management Speak (Part 1)
46:04

Why do people in meetings at work keep talking about "thinking outside the box"? Why does my boss say we need to "get all our ducks in a row"? And why does my project manager want to "touch base with me offline"? If it's all a mystery to you, don't worry - LEP is here to decode all this weird language. If you work in an office in an English-speaking country I'm sure you'll have heard of 'corporate jargon' or 'management speak'. This is one of the things that people complain about the most, in offices all around the UK. It seems that managers, bosses, project managers, corporate leaders all speak a strange version of English full of bizarre idioms, over-complicated metaphors and unnecessarily big words. But what is 'management speak', why do people use it, and why do people find it so annoying? In this episode I'm joined by former Apple employee Paul Taylor as we 'peel back the onion' and decode the phenomenon of management speak. Listen to find out all the details and to learn some management speak in the process. Click here for transcripts and notes http://wp.me/p4IuUx-5aE 

Oct 28, 2015
305. Back To The Future (Part 2)
01:19:07

In this episode I'm going to talk about: lessons we can learn from the story, a few fun facts, the 2015 predictions, how the DeLorean works, theories about time travel and some temporal paradoxes in the story. So strap in, let's go back to the future again. Click here for a transcript & more information http://wp.me/p4IuUx-5bi  #backtothefuture #timetravel #2015predictions

Oct 22, 2015
304. Back To The Future (Part 1)
01:20:51

Hello listeners, welcome to Luke's Film Club, this is one of those episodes of Luke's English podcast in which we focus on a classic moment from the movies. This one is an episode about Back to the Future, which is one of my all time favourite films and I'm not alone because it's one of the most popular films of the last few decades, all over the world. It's a really entertaining and fun film, which also contains some sub-texts related to the complexities of time travel as well as a few visions of the future. Also, in the film's sequel, the main characters Marty McFly and Doc Brown end up travelling into the future - and to what date? October 21, 2015. That's today (when recording this). So it seems to be the perfect moment to do an episode of Luke's Film Club, devoted to this modern classic. This is basically international Back to the Future day, and there's only one! So, this has to be the day on which I record this episode. This episode mainly deals with the plot of the 3 Back To The Future films. The next episode will deal with other stuff like future predictions, time travel and technical details of the DeLorean. Click here for a transcript: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-5at 

Oct 21, 2015
303. The Battle of Britain
01:03:15

This year marks the 75th anniversary of The Battle of Britain, and since this is such a pivotal moment in British history, I thought it would be appropriate to cover it in some way in an episode of this podcast. Also, I was asked recently by a listener in the comments section of my website to talk about the story of the Battle of Britain, specifically the role of one particular group of Polish pilots known as Squadron #303. So, here it is - the story of one of the most important moments in modern British history - The Battle of Britain, and the contribution made by a small group of pilots from Poland. http://wp.me/p4IuUx-528 

Oct 19, 2015
302. Bad Dentist / Star Wars / Adam Buxton / Headphone Jams / Jarvis Cocker
52:07

Hi, this is the second part of a two part episode in which I'm telling you a few things about recent trending news stories, some anecdotes and other things that are in my head at the moment. There's no specific language focus this time. Instead I'm focusing on general cultural information. Last time I talked about David Cameron and the pig, a story of a bad gig, and who the hell is Ronnie Pickering? In this one I'm going to ramble on about a bad trip to the dentist, some rising excitement about the new Star Wars film, Adam Buxton's new podcast, some music that has been bouncing around inside my head, some news about a new jingle which is in the pipeline and how I want to hunt Jarvis Cocker for my podcast but I don't know how to do it! If you don't really understand those things, then listen on! All will be explained! All you have to do is listen. Click here for more information http://wp.me/p4IuUx-59J 

Oct 14, 2015
301. David Cameron & The Pig / Bad Gig Story / Who is Ronnie Pickering?
56:35

In this episode I'm going to have a bit of a ramble about some stuff that's in the news at the moment and a few other things that have come into my brain. I'm not going to teach you anything specific in this one, no language anyway - just some bits and pieces about modern day British life. So generally I'm just going to keep you company for a while and talk to you one to one for the duration of the episode. Just you and me, and perhaps a bus load of commuters. Click here for more information http://wp.me/p4IuUx-59H 

Oct 11, 2015
300. [2] EPISODE 300 (PART 2)
01:09:32

Welcome back to this landmark episode of the podcast. In this one we're going to carry on listening to messages from guests I've featured on the podcast over the years, then we'll hear messages from some extra-special celebrity fans, as well as some of imitations of me sent in by lepsters. Click here for more information and to make a donation http://wp.me/p4IuUx-58u 

Oct 07, 2015
300. [1] EPISODE 300 (PART 1)
01:05:24

Here it is - Episode 300. This is quite a landmark episode for me. I've been doing the podcast for 6.5 years now, and I've uploaded about 300 hours of content for you to listen to. In this episode I talk about the significance of the number 300 in history, and then we take a trip down memory lane and hear messages from people I've spoken to on this podcast over the years. Click here for more information and to make a donation http://wp.me/p4IuUx-57C 

Oct 07, 2015
299. The Bank Robbery (Part 2)
50:38

Welcome back to this special double episode in which we are planning a bank robbery as part of a communication game. I strongly recommend that you listen to the previous episode because it will help to make this one much easier to understand. In part 1 I explained the rules of this communication game, which involves a team coming up with a plan to rob a bank. I gave you all the key information which the team has to share, I clarified some useful language that you'll hear and then we listened to the first part of the bank robbery meeting, with our team of Amber, Paul and Sebastian. In this episode you're going to hear the rest of the meeting, and then we'll find out exactly what happens to them, and the full solution to the whole puzzle. Click here for lots of information and transcripts http://wp.me/p4IuUx-57f 

Sep 30, 2015
298. The Bank Robbery (Part 1)
59:30

In this episode you’re going to hear a group of my friends do a communication game in which they have to plan a bank robbery. We’ll listen to the whole meeting, hear their plan come together and then find out what happens in their version of the robbery. We’ll also consider some of the language used in the planning process. If it makes it more exciting, let me tell you that the stakes are very high in this episode – the team could get away with about £200 million in gold, cash and diamonds, or die trying. This is the bank robbery episode. As ever, you can leave your comments on the page for this episode and read transcripts and more http://wp.me/p4IuUx-575 

Sep 24, 2015
297. Using Humour in the IELTS Speaking Test (with Jessica from All Ears English)
01:06:49

On the podcast today I'm talking to Jessica Beck who has been working in English language teaching for over 10 years. She is an instructor, a teacher trainer and an author of 14 textbooks for learning English. You may also know Jessica from her work on the IELTS Energy Podcast (www.ielts.allearsenglish.com), which is part of the All Ears English. I talked to Gabby and Lindsay from AEE on LEP last year about culture shock, remember that? Well, Jessica is part of the All Ears English team, and is known there as the "Examiner of Excellence". So, she knows a lot about the IELTS test, and he's got some good advice for any of my listeners who plan to take the test, including how you can improve your speaking score if you have a good sense of humour. If you're not planning to take the test, these skills can also be applied to your use of English in general life too. http://wp.me/p4IuUx-54f 

Sep 18, 2015
296. Learning Comedy is like Learning a Language
01:25:19

This episode features a conversation with my friend Paul Taylor, who you already know from previous episodes of LEP. Paul is back from the Edinburgh fringe, where he was performing for the whole of August in a comedy show, and a couple of days ago he came over to the flat for a cup of tea and a bit of a chat. We started talking about the Edinburgh fringe and how it went for him. It was his first time and I think he found it very challenging because the audiences were hard to please, apparently they had some tough shows where nobody laughed, and he realised that the standard of stand-up comedy in the UK is much higher than he expected, but it was a learning experience. Then we ended up talking about the similarity between learning how to do stand-up comedy and learning a language. During the conversation I quickly decided to record our thoughts so that I could make it into an episode of my podcast. We wrote down a few brief ideas and then went upstairs to start recording. You can now listen to that conversation here in full. Also, listen to the end to hear some funny out-takes from this episode. http://wp.me/p4IuUx-53R  #language #learning #english #comedy #Edinburgh #fringe

Sep 11, 2015
295. California Road Trip (Final Part)
01:15:23

Hi and welcome back to LEP. This is episode 295, and it will be the final part of this 8-part series which is inspired by my trip to the west coast of the US recently. I'm going to talk about the final part of our journey from San Francisco, down the coast via Monterey, Carmel, Big Sur, San Luis Obispo and back to LA. I'll also talk some more about customer service and give you some tips on how to make complaints in English and how to talk to strangers in slightly sensitive situations, like when you want a person sitting behind you to stop talking because you can't sleep. You can expect to hear those things and more in this episode. Click here for more information http://wp.me/p4IuUx-53v 

Sep 07, 2015
294. California Road Trip (Part 7)
01:20:13

Hello listeners and welcome back. This is part 7 in this series which is based on my recent trip to California. I didn't expect this to be a 7-part series, but it just keeps going because I've found more and more things to talk to you about! It's like the podcast episode that refuses to die, it keeps coming back for more! It's like the Lambton Worm or something - just when I think I've finished it off, it gets longer! I think this will be the last episode, but who knows. Time seems to shrink when I'm recording episodes of this podcast. An hour seems to disappear in just a few minutes because I get really involved in what I'm saying. I wonder if it's the same experience for you. I hope so. Click here for the page for this episode http://wp.me/p4IuUx-53o 

Sep 02, 2015
293. California Road Trip (Part 6)
01:10:20

Welcome to episode 293, which is in fact part 6 in this mini series based around my recent trip to California. There's still a lot to talk about, and in this episode I'll tell you about our time spent in San Francisco and that's going to include these things - my interview with AJ Hoge the well-known online English teacher, more British and American English, earthquakes, a short biography of Robin Williams, a history of the peace & love movement in San Francisco, more descriptions of our trip down the west coast of California, and some more tips about how to talk to waiters and customer service staff. It seems pretty obvious to me that that is too much for one episode, so I think there will probably be a part 7 to this series, and after that we'll return to normal podcasting and English teaching, with perhaps some more UK oriented topics in future episodes, and more episodes featuring authentic unscripted conversations with my friends Amber and Paul. Click here to visit the page for this episode http://wp.me/p4IuUx-53e 

Sep 01, 2015
292. California Road Trip (Part 5)
01:31:33

Hi listeners, I hope all's well. Here's part 5 in this series which I'm doing about my California road trip. In this episode I'm hoping to talk about these things: TThe Church of Scientology, Yosemite National Park and our slightly dramatic adventure there, more British and American English, and if time I'll talk to you about San Francisco, where among other things I met and interviewed AJ Hoge. So let's get started. [In fact I only managed to talk about Scientology and the Yosemite experience - British & American English, and AJ Hoge will be in the next episode]. Click here for more information and a transcript http://wp.me/p4IuUx-52G 

Aug 31, 2015
291. California Road Trip (Part 4)
01:15:42

Hi everyone, here's part 4 in this road trip mini-series. How are you? Are you keeping up with all these new episodes? I suppose if you're listening to this it means you are keeping up, but don't feel rushed. Take your time, listen to them at your leisure, in your own time and at your own speed. I hope you're finding this series interesting. In this one I'm planning to cover these things: Hollywood Boulevard and celebrity culture, an analysis of the mysterious lyrics to Hotel California by The Eagles, a visit to the extremely wealthy area of Beverley Hills and some more differences between American and British English vocabulary. Click here for the page for this episode http://wp.me/p4IuUx-52w 

Aug 28, 2015
290. California Road Trip (Part 3)
01:13:31

This is part 3 in what could turn out to be quite a long series about my recent trip around California. In this episode I'm hoping to talk about Venice Beach, Baywatch, Segways, the grammar of telling stories and anecdotes in English, some facts about the Hollywood sign, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and British & American English vocabulary related to driving. That's a lot of subjects to cover, so let's get started right away! Click here for the page for this episode http://wp.me/p4IuUx-520 

Aug 27, 2015
289. California Road Trip (Part 2)
01:17:13

Here's the next part of my description of my recent trip around California. This is a description of my honeymoon, but I'm also going to tell you about the cultural, geographical and historical context of the places we went to, and I'll give you some practical tips and teach you some British and American English too. This is part 2 of the California series. Let's carry on. https://teacherluke.co.uk/2015/08/26/289-california-road-trip-part-2/ 

Aug 26, 2015
288. California Road Trip (Part 1)
01:17:38

This is a sort of diary or report of what happened on my honeymoon in California, but it's not just a description of a honeymoon. It's more than that, because not only am I going to tell you a few stories about what happened and what we did, but I'll also explain a bit of cultural and historical information, as well as give you some practical tips, including ways of communicating effectively in various situations. Click here for the page for this episode http://wp.me/p4IuUx-4U7 

Aug 25, 2015
287. VOCAB BATTLE!!! WITH AMBER & PAUL (exciting title)
01:13:34

a.k.a "Vocabulary Game with Amber & Paul" or "Fifteen Fixed Expressions" (less exciting titles) Learn more English expressions in this episode by listening to another vocabulary game with Amber Minogue and Paul Taylor. Click here to visit the page for this episode http://wp.me/p4IuUx-4VL 

Aug 04, 2015
286. The Wedding Episode
01:29:45

Hi everyone, how are you? As you know I got married a couple of weeks ago (applause & congratulations) and in this episode I'm going to tell you about my wedding day, including the preparation, the thoughts, the feelings, the emotions, and what happened on the day itself. I'm planning another episode in the future about the vocabulary of weddings. Click here to visit the page for this episode on my website: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-4Je 

Aug 04, 2015
285. Ten More Fixed Expressions
01:15:33

The next episode of LEP is here at last, after a one month absence. In this episode I'm joined again by Paul Taylor as we play another vocabulary game. Can you beat Paul, a native speaker of English, in this vocabulary guessing game? Listen to find out. Click here to visit the page for this episode: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-4Vd 

Aug 03, 2015
284. Questions from Tea4er.ru (Part 2)
57:13

Hi listeners, in this episode I go through some more of the questions sent to me by readers of Tea4er.ru. All the questions and most of my answers are added on the page for this episode, so you can read and listen at the same time if you want to. Access the page here: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-4yU 

Jul 08, 2015
283. Ten Fixed Expressions
01:18:08

Listen to Paul and me play a guessing game involving ten fixed expressions. Can you beat Paul Taylor in this game in which you have to identify the expression being described by Luke? Listen and leave your comments here http://wp.me/p4IuUx-4vS 

Jul 02, 2015
282. Questions from Tea4er.ru
58:40

You can listen to an article about LEP and some Q&A from readers of Tea4er.ru all read out by Luke in this episode. Click here to read a transcript http://wp.me/p4IuUx-4yP 

Jun 29, 2015
281. Misheard Lyrics
01:09:23

Do you ever listen to songs and completely mishear the lyrics? I do it all the time. In fact, everybody does! Let's listen to some song extracts in which the lyrics don't quite sound as the singer intended. Click here for the page for this episode http://teacherluke.co.uk/2015/06/17/281-misheard-lyrics/ 

Jun 17, 2015
280. The UK's Top 13 Superstitions
01:16:43

What are the most common superstitions in the UK? What are the origins of these superstitions? Why do we believe these things? Are there any particular phrases in our language that relate to these superstitions? Listen to the episode to find out more and click here for a transcript: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-28K 

Jun 14, 2015
279. Marcus Keeley / Northern Ireland / Accent (Part 3)
59:11

Welcome back to part 3 of this short series. In parts 1 and 2 we got to know my guest a bit, and talked about Northern Ireland. Now in part 3 we are going to have a good listen to Marcus's Northern Irish accent, compare the way he and I speak, and also learn a few common phrases and slang from Northern Ireland. Enjoy! http://wp.me/p4IuUx-4hx 

Jun 10, 2015
278. Marcus Keeley / Northern Ireland (Part 2)
25:10

In part 1 of this episode we met Marcus Keeley. In part 2 we are going to talk specifically about Northern Ireland, its culture, the atmosphere there and things you can do if you visit as a tourist. There will be a part 3 of this conversation, which will focus on the accents and dialects in Northern Ireland. Click here for more details http://wp.me/p4IuUx-4hk 

Jun 09, 2015
277. A Chat with Marcus Keeley from Northern Ireland (Part 1)
49:03

This episode is the first part of a conversation I had recently with a friend from Northern Ireland. It's the first time I've had someone from that part of the UK before so it's a chance to get to know him, his country and the accents you find there. In this one we get to know Marcus and give you a chance to hear his accent. There will be two more parts to this episode. Enjoy! http://wp.me/p4IuUx-4df 

Jun 09, 2015
Survey: What kind of episodes of LEP do you prefer?
10:50

Please click here to take my survey. It'll just take you a couple of minutes and I don't need your name or email address. Thanks! Link here: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-48e 

Jun 03, 2015
276. Q&A Session #5
01:09:41

In this episode I'm responding to more questions from my listeners. These are all questions that found their way to me via the discussion forum or as comments or emails.  This one is Q&A Session #5. Click here to read all the questions and some transcripts of my answers http://wp.me/p4IuUx-3XU  To download a free audiobook go to http://www.audibletrial.com/teacherluke 

Jun 02, 2015
275. The Phrasal Verb Chronicles #2
01:13:20

100 episodes ago I recorded The Phrasal Verb Chronicles #1 - remember that? The point of that episode was to improvise a made-up story as a way of reviewing the first 50 phrasal verbs from my other podcast which is called A Phrasal Verb A Day. I had to just come up with a random story, and add in a load of phrasal verbs. Your task was to try and spot the phrasal verbs as I used them, while also following the story. It's time to do it again because I've done over 100 episodes of A Phrasal Verb A Day. So now, in this episode I'm going to attempt to improvise another story using phrasal verbs #51-100. Click here for the full list of phrasal verbs, with their mini podcast episodes from "A Phrasal Verb a Day" http://wp.me/p4IuUx-3Ue 

May 29, 2015
274. Q&A Session #4
01:08:10

In this episode I'm going to respond to questions that my listeners have asked me in the teacherluke.co.uk discussion forum. I'll also deal with some other questions I've received from listeners in different ways, either on Facebook, twitter, email or as comments posted on my website. This is the 4th time I've done a Q&A session on the podcast like this, and I plan to do more! To send me your questions and to read a transcript for this episode, click here http://wp.me/p4IuUx-3oL 

May 26, 2015
273. The Bad Haircut Situation Part 2: More Role Plays & Improvisations
42:08

(Longest title ever?) In the last episode, Amber, Paul and I talked about giving compliments, sharing bad news, and generally saying negative things in a careful and diplomatic way. We then did a couple of role play improvisations to help you notice specific language. In this episode we continue with the improvisations and some language feedback. You can see some samples of the language used in those improvisations by clicking here http://wp.me/p4IuUx-3uQ  Enjoy!

May 24, 2015
272. The Bad Haircut Situation
47:47

In this episode we're going to look at how to deal with sensitive situations in English, and that includes ways of delivering bad news or saying negative things. We're going to consider ways of using language carefully in order to avoid upsetting people or making them angry. You'll hear a discussion on this topic between Amber, Paul and me and then a few role plays in which we have to deal with some sensitive situations. Watch out for the specific language that we use. Click here for all the details on teacherluke.co.uk http://wp.me/p4IuUx-3s9 

May 21, 2015
271. Catching Up with Amber & Paul
01:04:51

Today I'm joined by my mates Paul Taylor and Amber Minogue, both of whom have been on the podcast before. Let's catch up with them and see what they've been doing. Listen to the episode to hear a completely unscripted and authentic chat between 3 native speakers from England, as we talk about having babies, pedestrian crossings, having ginger hair, the difficulties of being English in the sunshine, and some of our favourite TV shows and films. Click here for more information http://teacherluke.co.uk/2015/05/17/catching-up-with-amber-and-paul/ 

May 17, 2015
270. UK General Election RESULTS
36:55

This is a summary of the results of the UK's general election which took place on May 7. What happened? Who won? What were the main events? What does this mean for the future of the UK over the next 5 years? To read a script and for more information click here to visit the page on the website for this episode http://wp.me/p4IuUx-3P0 

May 15, 2015
269. UK General Election 2015 (Part 2)
01:03:37

Welcome back to Part 2 of this episode which is all about the UK general election which is taking place in a couple of days on Thursday 7 May 2015. In this part we'll hear statements by 7 leaders from 7 of the main parties in this election, we'll consider exactly what they said, understand some of the vocabulary and key issues, and then look at the possible outcomes and predictions for the result of the election. Click here for a transcript and more information http://wp.me/p4IuUx-3GN 

May 05, 2015
268. UK General Election 2015 (Part 1)
01:05:36

This podcast contains everything you should know about the general election which is happening across the UK this Thursday 7 May 2015. To read a transcript click here http://wp.me/p4IuUx-3FA 

May 05, 2015
267. Earthquake in Nepal + other news
26:55

This episode is mainly about the recent earthquake in Nepal. Please consider donating to the Disasters Emergency Committee at www.dec.org.uk I'm also going to mention a couple of other news stories that are worth talking about, including the UK's general election which is happening at the end of next week, and the fact that Kate Middleton has just given birth to a baby girl. It's all over the internet and on TV now - but how important is it really, considering so many people's lives are in jeopardy in Nepal at the moment? https://teacherluke.co.uk/2015/05/02/267-earthquake-in-nepal-other-news/ 

May 02, 2015
266. Telling Jokes in English (Part 3)
55:34

This is the third and final episode in this series on jokes. In this one we're going to consider the psychology of puns, hear an old tape recording of my brother and me telling jokes when we were children, and you'll also get lots more gags and their explanations. Click here for a transcript and to download http://wp.me/p4IuUx-3t3 

Apr 24, 2015
265. Telling Jokes in English (Part 2)
51:35

In this one we're going to look at some typical joke structures, consider what makes a joke funny, and then I'm going to tell you lots of jokes and explain the vocabulary you need to understand them. Click here to read a transcript and to download the episode http://wp.me/p4IuUx-3rs 

Apr 23, 2015
264. Telling Jokes in English (Part 1)
01:11:52

Everything you need to know about when, why and how to tell jokes in English. We'll look at the cultural and linguistic considerations that relate to telling jokes in social settings. Also, you'll hear a few jokes in the process! For a transcript and to download the episode click here http://wp.me/p4IuUx-3qZ 

Apr 20, 2015
263. Past, Present & Future - Verb Tenses
01:17:13

LEP is back! You might be wondering where I've been, or what's going on at LEP headquarters. In this episode I'm going to explain my absence, fill you in on what's going on at the moment, and also talk a bit about what's coming up in the future. The language focus is on ways of talking about the past, present and future. Click here for notes, transcriptions and to download the episode: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-3jx   

Apr 08, 2015
262. What is Britishness? (Part 2)
01:01:42

Welcome back to part 2 of this episode in which we are exploring the subject of Britishness. In this one we are looking at how the Brits define and understand their own national identity. For a transcription and to download click here http://wp.me/p4IuUx-2SX  Image: Gene Bible http://www.genebible.co.uk 

Mar 03, 2015
261. What is Britishness? (Part 1)
55:31

In this episode I'm going to explore the notion of "Britishness", including the stereotypes, the reality and the complexity of defining Britishness, or any other national identity. For a transcription and to download click here http://wp.me/p4IuUx-2Ey  Image: Gene Bible http://www.genebible.co.uk 

Mar 03, 2015
260. Kingsman: The Secret Service
01:07:20

Some feedback on poems written by LEPsters in response to episode 258, and then a film review of Kingsman: The Secret Service - a new spy film set in the UK. For more details click here http://wp.me/p4IuUx-2JX 

Feb 26, 2015
259. Eulogy for Dennis
58:03

This episode is devoted to the memory of my Grandfather Dennis, who died at the end of December last year. For more information and a transcript of this episode click here: https://teacherluke.co.uk/2015/02/24/259-eulogy-for-dennis/ 

Feb 24, 2015
258. Award Win / Thank you! / Poem
13:56

This is a very short podcast episode because I don't have much time, but I just wanted to say a very sincere THANK YOU to everyone who voted for me in the 2014 Macmillan Love English Awards. I've written a poem to express my gratitude. Listen to the episode to hear it. Why not write your own poem in the comment section of my website? Click here to visit the relevant page: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-2JN  You'll also hear a short extract from an interview with Eminem in this episode.

Feb 17, 2015
257. Be Positive
01:14:03

This improvised and unscripted episode has no specific agenda or language focus, but contains some news, some philosophical conundrums, a few film reviews as well as the usual spoken English and natural phrases. The overall theme which emerged during the recording was that of being positive and making the most of what you've got. Click here to visit the page for this episode: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-2DH 

Feb 10, 2015
256. Reading Books In English (and listening to them too)
01:09:17

This is an episode all about the benefits of reading books and listening to audiobooks in English. It contains lots of advice for using books for improving your English, and several lists of recommended books too. Also, claim your free audiobook from Audible.com - click here for details: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-2lr  Claim your free audiobook here: http://www.audible.com/t1/30trial_at?source_code=PDTGBPD060314004R 

Feb 01, 2015
255. Taken 3 / Expressions with 'Take'
01:02:06

My response to the film Taken 3, plus 12 expressions which use the word 'take'. Click here for vocabulary notes and more: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-2tb  #Taken3 #film #english #tefl

Jan 26, 2015
254. IELTS Tips & Tricks
01:19:40

In this one I’m going to go through all parts of the IELTS test, giving you some tips and general advice. I’m recording this because it is one of the most commonly requested episodes. People are always asking me to do episodes about IELTS and I have never done one until now. So here it is, the eagerly awaited IELTS episode. Loads of people around the world take the IELTS test to get a grade of their English. More and more it is becoming the world’s #1 test of English level. It is a notoriously tough test which challenges many people aroudn the world every day, so what wisdom can I impart to my loyal LEPsters who are hoping to prove themselves in the IELTS challenge? Well, quite a lot I hope. Click here for a transcript, links and more http://wp.me/p4IuUx-2k6 

Jan 22, 2015
253. Rapping with Fluency MC!
01:07:20

Chatting and rapping with Jason R. Levine aka Fluency MC! Click here for more information including YouTube videos and lyrics of our rapping http://wp.me/p4IuUx-2bD  I'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). #hiphop #rap #rapping #rhyme #english #tefl #learning #teaching

Jan 20, 2015
252. Marooned With My Music: James Thompson
01:20:07

Welcome to Luke's English Podcast and this special series, called Marooned With My Music. My castaway today is my brother James Thompson. Click here for a song list and more information http://wp.me/p4IuUx-2ip 

Jan 16, 2015
251. Welcome to LEP / 16 Things You Should Know about LEP
31:28

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 This episode is a chance for me to say "HI" to any new visitors to my website, and to tell you 16 things that you should know about LEP. For more info click here http://wp.me/p4IuUx-2lh 

Jan 13, 2015
250. Marooned With My Music: Gill Thompson
55:49

Welcome to Luke's English Podcast and this special series, called Marooned With My Music. My castaway today is my Mum, Gill Thompson. Click here for more information http://wp.me/p4IuUx-2im 

Jan 11, 2015
249. News / LEP Merchandise / Messages
46:17

This episode is just a chance for me to talk to you about these things: - Yesterday's violent attack at the Charlie Hebdo magazine office in Paris - New LEP merchandise - Messages from Listeners at podcastreply@gmail.com For more info click here http://wp.me/p4IuUx-2jF  To buy LEP merchandise, visit the LEP shop here: http://www.cafepress.co.uk/teacherluke 

Jan 08, 2015
248. Marooned With My Music: Rick Thompson
58:56

"Marooned with my Music" is an interview concept based on a popular and long-running BBC Radio programme called "Desert Island Discs". In that BBC programme, celebrities and noteworthy people are invited onto the show for an interview. They imagine that they have been stranded on a remote desert island and are only allowed to take certain items with them, namely: 8 pieces of music, one book and one luxury item. During the programme, the interviewee is asked about their life and their musical choices. Desert Island Discs remains one of the BBC's most beloved radio programmes and has been broadcast on the radio for many years. In my version, "Marooned with my Music" I have decided to interview members of my family: My Dad, my Mum and my Brother. Click here for more information and song titles: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-2ha 

Jan 06, 2015
247. Understanding The USA
01:16:06

This episode is an attempt to understand The USA in more detail, getting beyond the made-up version that we see in movies and on TV in order to get a proper understanding of the country, its culture and its people. I'm joined by an American friend of mine called Sebastian Marx, and during our conversation we go through most of the main events in the history of the USA and discuss some of the most important principles in the story of the country. The ultimate aim: to understand The United States of America. For more information click here http://wp.me/p4IuUx-1ZX 

Jan 03, 2015
246. Flight Stories
01:17:20

Listen to some stand-up comedy and true stories about flying experiences, learn some vocabulary and consider what makes these comedy routines funny. For transcripts and videos, click here http://wp.me/p4IuUx-2dE 

Dec 24, 2014
245. Merry Christmas! (+ other news)
36:55

This is just a chance to wish you all a Merry Christmas and to give you a bit of news. There is a video for this episode, featuring 15 minutes of extra footage which I filmed before recording the audio part. You can watch it by going to teacherluke.co.uk here http://wp.me/p4IuUx-2eA 

Dec 23, 2014
244. Urban Myths
01:06:19

This episode is all about urban myths. Get your thinking hat on because it's time to evaluate a few stories and beliefs and decide if they are based in reality or if they're just the product of an overactive imagination, or rumours, or just plain old fashioned bullcr*p! I will also teach you some very useful language connected to expressing if you think something is true or not. For vocabulary notes, transcriptions and much more, click here to visit the page for this episode on teacherluke.co.uk - http://wp.me/p4IuUx-28t 

Dec 15, 2014
243. A Life-Changing Teaching Experience in Ghana
58:49

Hello and welcome to another episode of Luke's English Podcast! In this episode I'm going to interview my friend Mike Bruce about his recent teaching experience in Ghana in West Africa. Mike is an old friend and colleague of mine, he's originally from Scotland, although he doesn't have a particularly strong accent, and he has lived and worked in places all over the world. I've known him for about 13 years and he was one of the first people I ever worked with as a language teacher in Japan. Mike has an amazing CV. He's taught in lots of countries around the world. He's very highly qualified, and as well as teaching students of English as a second language he also teaches teachers how to teach. So, he's pretty much a Jedi Master of English teaching in my opinion. Mike recently came back from a teaching mission in Ghana, and judging by the Facebook photos and statuses, it was quite an epic experience for him. I thought it would be interesting to talk to him about it on Luke's English Podcast. My aim for this interview is to have a bit of a chat with Mike, just a bit of a chat, introduce him to the LEPsters? LEPans? LEPians?LEPenese? LEPlanders? LEPish? LEPaholics? and then find out about his African teaching experience. Click here to visit the page on teacherluke.co.uk for this episode http://wp.me/p4IuUx-2c2 

Dec 11, 2014
242. 11 Idioms Only Brits Understand (really?)
01:06:44

This is a slightly rambling and unprepared episode which I made up as I went along, and in the end I talked about a page I found on MatadorNetwork.com called "11 Idioms Only Brits Understand". I don't think that these are exclusively used by Brits, but nevertheless they are some pretty commonly used idioms, so I decided to talk to you about them in this episode. After that I ended up clicking on a few random YouTube videos, playing around with the cockney accent and listening to some music. Enjoy! Click here for the full list and more http://wp.me/p4IuUx-28w 

Dec 07, 2014
241. Star Wars
01:34:23

"Luke's Film Club" continues with one of my all-time favourites: Star Wars! In this episode I'm going to ramble on about the Star Wars franchise, including the original trilogy (episodes 4-6), the prequel trilogy (episodes 1-3) and the upcoming new trilogy (episodes 7-9). If you're a Star Wars fan, this one's for you! If you don't like Star Wars, I hope this episode will give you some idea of why people are so crazy about these movies. Click here to visit this page on teacherluke.co.uk http://wp.me/p4IuUx-2ba

Dec 02, 2014
240. Politicians Avoiding Questions
45:42

In this episode we're going to look at the way politicians deal with tough and challenging questions from TV and radio interviewers. We'll listen to some examples of politicians avoiding questions in interviews and examine some of the ways they get themselves out of tight situations while also promoting their ideas. For a transcript and more details, click here: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-tK 

Dec 02, 2014
239. Prepositions: Verb Collocations + Improvised Story
01:11:43

In the last episode I attempted to explain ways that prepositions are used in English, and I failed because I wasn't prepared. I managed to get across the idea that prepositions are complicated because they're used in combination with other words, and that you have to remember vocabulary in 'chunks' but the idea was also to present you with some useful lists of preposition collocations. This time around I've done some more preparation. I've spent a bit more time on it and so for round 2 I think we should get a proper grip on the subject, while also having some fun noticing prepositions in an improvised story. Click here for a list of the collocations in this episode, and more http://wp.me/p4IuUx-29v 

Nov 26, 2014
238. Prepositions (Part 1)
36:52

In this episode I decided to teach you about prepositions! Yes! Everyone's favourite words in English! (Sarcasm - most learners find them frustrating and confusing) However, the episode didn't quite go as planned and I didn't manage to deal with the subject as I had intended. Nevertheless, this episode contains some comments and information about prepositions, which works as an introduction to other episodes on the subject. Listen to this one before you listen episode 240, which deals with the subject in more depth. Click the link for all the necessary notes and comments http://wp.me/p4IuUx-29l 

Nov 24, 2014
237. OPP: Other People’s Podcasts (Part 2)
01:11:13

Here are more of my favourite podcasts that I love to listen to every day when I am out and about. For all the relevant links and information visit teacherluke.co.uk by clicking here: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-22D 

Nov 18, 2014
236. OPP: Other People's Podcasts (Part 1)
01:07:21

As well as making podcasts of my own, I love to listen to podcasts made by other people. In fact, I think podcasting is one of the coolest mediums around these days, and there are so many great things to listen to in English. This episode is about other people's podcasts that I enjoy and that I'd like to share with you. For more detailed information click here http://wp.me/p4IuUx-1Yg 

Nov 18, 2014
235. British Slang (N to Z)
01:20:14

Here's the final part in the series about British colloquial language. Please be aware that this episode contains some rude language and explicit content. Click here for the list of words in this episode http://wp.me/p4IuUx-24z 

Nov 14, 2014
234. Making "Choons" with My Brother
01:01:10

My brother Jim Thompson has been making music on an Akai MPC2000 for a few years now, and he has finally released an album of tracks on bandcamp (click here to listen or download his music http://jt2000.bandcamp.com/releases). In this episode I spoked to my bro about his influences, his inspiration and the creative process of making music from an idea to a finished track. For more info click here http://wp.me/p4IuUx-1Xi 

Nov 11, 2014
233. YEP! Winner
38:32

My conversation with the overall YEP competition winner, Edgar Hernandez, aka "Bono Chimp" :) http://wp.me/p4IuUx-25z 

Nov 07, 2014
232. YEP! Runners Up (Part 2)
56:50

More runners up from the YEP competition. Enjoy! http://wp.me/p4IuUx-25v 

Nov 06, 2014
231. YEP! Runners Up (Part 1)
50:37

Interviews with runners up from the YEP competition. http://teacherluke.co.uk/2014/11/06/231-yep-runners-up-part-1/ 

Nov 06, 2014
230. Can You Learn a Language in 6 Months?
01:18:08

This episode is based on a TEDx presentation by Chris Lonsdale, who claims that any normal adult can learn a language within 6 months. Is that really possible? How method of learning does Chris propose? How does this relate to listening to Luke's English Podcast? You can see the video of Chris Lonsdale's talk, with a transcript by clicking here http://wp.me/p4IuUx-22i 

Nov 04, 2014
229. Zombies! (Part 2)
59:47

This is the second in a 2-part series all about zombies. In part 1 I talked about the zombie in popular culture, analysis of the zombie as a metaphor and then some rules for surviving the zombie apocalypse. In episode 2 I'm going to take a couple of zombie survival quizzes and then do a language focus on conditionals. Click here for more information and links http://wp.me/p4IuUx-24e 

Oct 30, 2014
228. Zombies! (Part 1)
56:29

This episode is all about zombies - the undead, flesh eaters, walkers, biters, the infected.

Click here for a transcript and other links http://wp.me/p4IuUx-1Su 

whatever you want to call them, zombies have become an indelible part of our popular culture now. There are zombies in the cinemas, zombies on TV in shows like AMC's The Walking Dead, zombies in computer games, zombies online, even zombie walks in which people get together in large groups in order to dress up like zombies and walk around going "uhhhhh". We're pretty obsessed by zombies, and I am too. I love zombies and zombie films. Maybe that makes me some kind of sick and twisted individual, but I'm not alone. In fact, I think that zombies are perhaps as popular and present in our culture as vampires and ghosts. But, what is some of the history behind the zombie phenomenon? Where do they come from? What do they want? Why are we obsessed by zombies? How can you survive if zombies really attack? And, how do we talk about zombies in English? That's the focus of this extra-special and extra-creepy episode of Luke's English Podcast. In the first part we're going to examine the zombie as a popular cultural phenomenon, then in the second part I'm going to test my survival skills by taking a zombie survival quiz. You can join me as I make various decisions that will affect my chances of surviving the zombie apocalypse. In the next episode we're going to consider some conditional structures. That's 0, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and mixed conditionals.  #zombies #learning #english #podcast

Oct 30, 2014
227. Sausages, Barcodes & Apple Watches
29:56

This is one of those episodes in which I set myself a 30 minute challenge. Can I talk for 30 minutes without pausing or repeating myself, and with absolutely nothing prepared in advance? Listen to the episode to find out. Click here for more information http://wp.me/p4IuUx-22X  #sausages #applewatch #barcodes #cheese #pizza #religion #humour #english #listening #natural #nativespeaker #ramble

Oct 27, 2014
226. On a Boat
01:13:00

aka "The Boat that Rocked" or "The Drunk Episode 2". In this episode I spent the evening on a narrowboat on a canal in a part of North London known as Little Venice, with my friends Alex, Paul, Moz and Dave. Join us as we talk about life on the canal boat, the first jobs we ever had, answers to a few questions sent in by a long-term listener called Hiroshi, and explanations of various rude expressions and jokes which came up spontaneously during the conversation. Please be aware that this episode contains strong language, rude & explicit content and plenty of bad 'jokes'. Click here for more information http://wp.me/p4IuUx-1Te 

Oct 21, 2014
225. Film Club: Taken
48:48

This episode is all about the film "Taken" starring Liam Neeson as an ex-CIA agent who uses his 'particular set of skills' to save his daughter who is kidnapped while on a trip to Paris. I'm slightly obsessed by this film - I find it gripping and exciting, but also quite ridiculous. In this episode I'd like to play you a classic moment from this film, and then talk about how I feel about the movie as a whole. For more information, click here http://wp.me/p4IuUx-1Wh 

"I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don't have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you."

Oct 16, 2014
224. Pronunciation: Verb Tenses & Connected Speech
01:14:43

This episode focuses on how sentences are pronounced quickly by native speakers. This is invaluable knowledge which will help you to take your listening and your pronunciation to the next level! Click here for example sentences and more information http://wp.me/p4IuUx-211 

Oct 13, 2014
223. YEP! Competition Winners
01:00:56

YEP Competition Results, news and some rambling about mosquitoes and TV documentaries about ghosts. For all the details click here: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-20o 

Oct 07, 2014
222. Luke's Late Night Podcast
53:23

Take a musical trip through Luke's hard-drive, in the middle of the night. Late one night recently, I decided to record a podcast while randomly picking some pieces of music from my hard-drive and talking to you at the same time. This is the result. Click here for lyrics and more information http://wp.me/p4IuUx-1YW 

Sep 30, 2014
221. A Cup of Tea with Corneliu Dragomirescu (Part 2)
01:17:53

Here's part 2 of my conversation with "The Son of the Dragon Tamer" in which we talk about these things: - The difference “pleasshure” and “pleasure”, “bio” and “B.O.” - The importance of ‘passion’ in France - Jamie Oliver’s (fake?) cockney accent - British & American English - Corneliu’s experiences in America, his acting and his accent - Corneliu’s learning experiences with a great teacher when he was a child - The interesting course-book which Corneliu used in his English lessons - The myth of ‘the English gentleman’ - Depictions of Englishness in films - Stereotypes of Romania - Romania & Bulgaria’s entry into the EU and the media panic related to migrant workers - Vampires, Dracula and Romania Click here for more information http://wp.me/p4IuUx-1Z0 

Sep 23, 2014
220. A Cup of Tea with Corneliu Dragomirescu
01:14:14

aka "The Son of the Dragon Tamer!" or "The guy with the longest name ever on LEP". *The conversation starts at 11.39 - so please skip my introduction if you like* Let me tell you a bit about Corneliu. He is a film maker and comedian originally from Romania. He lives in France now where he writes, directs, produces and acts in films and television projects. Corneliu is a polyglot (he speaks Romanian, French and English), he's a movie-buff and an he's an all-round great conversationalist and therefore is the perfect guest for another episode of LEP. Click here for more information: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-1Yj 

Sep 17, 2014
219. Scottish Independence
01:12:02

On 18th September the people of Scotland will vote in a referendum to decide if Scotland should remain a part of the UK or become independent. If they vote "yes" and Scotland does become independent from the UK it would cause massive changes to the way the UK is organised. It would be the biggest change in UK history for hundreds of years. It could change everything - not only the lives of the Scottish people, but also the lives of the English, the Welsh and the people of Northern Ireland. In short - this is a massive story for the UK. Let's look at the background, the arguments for & against, and the possible outcomes of independence. Click here for notes and transcriptions: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-1XK 

Sep 10, 2014
218. YEP! Competition Entries #8
01:02:51

The final episode of "Your English Podcast" - Please vote for your favourite competition entry by visiting teacherluke.co.uk . Voting closes on September 30th 2014 at 12 midnight, Paris time. Click here to cast your vote for this episode http://wp.me/p4IuUx-1WP 

Sep 07, 2014
217. YEP! Competition Entries #7
01:02:48

Vote for your favourite competition entry by visiting teacherluke.co.uk . Voting closes on September 30th 2014 at 12 midnight, Paris time. Click here to cast your vote for this episode http://wp.me/p4IuUx-1WN 

Sep 07, 2014
216. YEP! Competition Entries #6
58:46

Vote for your favourite competition entry by visiting teacherluke.co.uk . Voting closes on September 30th 2014 at 12 midnight, Paris time. Click here to cast your vote for this episode http://wp.me/p4IuUx-1WL 

Sep 07, 2014
215. YEP! Competition Entries #5
58:37

Vote for your favourite competition entry by visiting teacherluke.co.uk . Voting closes on September 30th 2014 at 12 midnight, Paris time. Click here to cast your vote for this episode http://wp.me/p4IuUx-1WJ 

Sep 07, 2014
214. YEP! Competition Entries #4
01:03:51

Vote for your favourite competition entry by visiting teacherluke.co.uk . Voting closes on September 30th 2014 at 12 midnight, Paris time. Click here to cast your vote for this episode http://wp.me/p4IuUx-1WG 

Sep 07, 2014
213. YEP! Competition Entries #3
55:59

Vote for your favourite competition entry by visiting teacherluke.co.uk . Voting closes on September 30th 2014 at 12 midnight, Paris time. Click here to cast your vote for this episode http://wp.me/p4IuUx-1WE 

Sep 07, 2014
212. YEP! Competition Entries #2
50:58

Vote for your favourite competition entry by visiting teacherluke.co.uk . Voting closes on September 30th 2014 at 12 midnight - Paris time. Click here to cast your vote for this episode http://wp.me/p4IuUx-1WB 

Sep 07, 2014
211. YEP! Competition Entries #1
01:02:05

Vote for your favourite competition entry by visiting teacherluke.co.uk . Voting closes on September 30th 2014 at 12 midnight - Paris time. Click here to cast your vote for this episode http://wp.me/p4IuUx-1V0 

Sep 07, 2014
210. A Cup of Tea with Noman Hosni
01:16:00

Conversation & language feedback with comedian Noman Hosni. Click here for a part-transcript and language feedback notes. http://wp.me/p4IuUx-1W9 

Sep 04, 2014
209. Travelling in Indonesia (Part 2)
01:01:14

Part 2 of my account of my travelling experience in Indonesia. Please listen to part 1 before listening to this one. Click here for notes and transcripts http://wp.me/p4IuUx-1V5  #travel #indonesia #english #listening

Aug 29, 2014
208. Travelling in Indonesia (Part 1)
52:59

I just came back from a 2 week holiday in Indonesia. Let me tell you about it in this episode. Click here for notes and transcripts http://wp.me/p4IuUx-1UH  #travel #english #indonesia

Aug 29, 2014
207. Competition Inspiration
20:43

This is another 'quick' podcast to let you know that I'm on holiday for a couple of weeks, and also to give you some inspiration for your entries to my competition, called "Your English Podcast". 1. I'm going on holiday so I will be away from teacherluke.co.uk for a while. This means I might not be able to respond to comments or messages, and there won't be any uploads for a while. I think you have enough new material to keep you busy until I get back, right? I'll be back in a couple of weeks. 2. Competition: I get the impression that a lot of people out there are scratching their heads, thinking "I'd like to take part in Luke's competition, but what shall I talk about?" All the details of the competition are in episode 200. Here are some questions as inspiration for you. Send your audio responses to podcastcomp@gmail.com http://wp.me/p4IuUx-1Th 

Aug 08, 2014
206. Summer in London (Part 2)
01:00:28

Hi and welcome back to this special episode of LEP in which you join me on a walk through central London. http://wp.me/p4IuUx-1S4 

Aug 06, 2014
205. Summer In London (Part 1)
01:10:14

In this episode you can listen to me walking through central London and talking to you along the way. I really enjoyed recording this episode and I think you're going to enjoy listening to it too because it'll be like you're actually there with me, strolling around some of my favourite parts of town, hearing all the sounds of London around you as we go. I think it's going to be great, but before we start I'd just like to mention a couple of things as a preface to the episode... Click here for more information http://wp.me/p4IuUx-1RP 

Aug 05, 2014
204. Quick Hello: Competition Update & More News
19:00

Yes, my definition of 'quick' = over 20 minutes! I'm uploading lots of episodes at the moment - you'll be able to catch up with them all soon! This episode is just a quick "hello" and a chance for me to give you some information and make a couple of announcements. Click here for more information and to see a video of me recording this episode http://wp.me/p4IuUx-1SA 

Aug 05, 2014
203. The Flatmate from Japan
01:03:24

a.k.a. "A Cup of Tea with Peter Sidell" English teacher, travel writer, stand-up comic, learner of Japanese, DJ, native English speaker, Machester City fan and former flatmate of Luke from Luke's English Podcast - Peter Sidell is a guy who keeps himself busy! I lived with Peter in Tsujidou, Japan for nearly a year. I left at the end of 2003 and he stayed there and I hadn't seen him for about 11 years until he recently visited Paris and we got the chance to catch up with each other again. Of course I jumped at the chance to interview Peter for LEP, and you can now listen to our conversation here, now. Click here for more information http://wp.me/p4IuUx-1Ss 

Aug 04, 2014
202. British Comedy: Monty Python & The Holy Grail
01:19:50

[The Constitutional Peasants Scene] Here's another episode about Monty Python's Flying Circus, and in this one we're going to be covering some very interesting topics, such as medieval history, old myths legends & folklore, the British monarchy, marxism and radical politics. In terms of language we're going to look at some old fashioned formal poetic language, some political vocabulary and also some intonation and sentence stress, and we'll be doing all of that while understanding and hopefully enjoying a funny scene from a classic British comedy film. So, you really are getting everything in this episode (well, maybe not everything but you know what I mean). A lot of this is transcribed at teacherluke.co.uk. If you find this episode on the website you'll also see a video, a script for that video and more information. So let's get started. Click here for transcripts & videos http://wp.me/p4IuUx-1Og 

Aug 01, 2014
201. Nikolay Kulikov: A Russian Comedian in London
01:19:00

Nikolai Kulikov is an award-winning Russian screenwriter and stand-up comedian. This year he spent a couple of months living in London (and also briefly in Dublin) performing stand-up comedy. I saw one of his performances in English on video and thought he was very funny! So, I decided to contact him for an interview to find out more about him, his experiences learning English, his views on performing to British & Irish people, and how he feels about life in Russia these days. I hope you enjoy the episode! **Please be aware that this episode features some rude language and swearing** Click here for more information http://wp.me/p4IuUx-1Kw 

Jul 28, 2014
200. New Competition: "Your English Podcast"
01:47:50

In this episode: Details of a new competition for you to enter, how it feels to complete 200 episodes of the podcast, jingles, a message from Alex & Paul, and more! Click here to read all the details of this competition: http://wp.me/p4IuUx-Fc 

Jul 25, 2014
199. The USA/UK Quiz
01:04:48

Molly and I ask each other general knowledge questions about the USA and the UK. How much do we know about each other's countries? How much do you know about the USA and the UK? Listen and find out! http://wp.me/p4IuUx-1Q6 

Jul 17, 2014
198. A Cup of Tea with Molly Martinez
46:18

My friend Molly joins me for a cup of Japanese green tea and a bit of a chat. Molly is a graduate of journalism and is a very funny comedian and writer. First of all you'll hear me interviewing Molly about her life, her American/Mexican roots and her plans for the future, and then Molly interviews me with some random yet revealing questions. http://wp.me/p4IuUx-JE 

Jul 17, 2014
197. World Cup 2014 (Part 6: Final Comments)
01:40:58

Here is the third and final podcast in which I read out your comments from the World Cup forum thread on teacherluke.co.uk. Comments written in the forum have been corrected by me and n