I haven’t even had time to keep up with the posts about each episode of our podcast. Terribly neglectful of me. Towards the end of last year we did a little mini series on the Cambridge B2 First or whatever it’s called these days (Cambridge keep changing the name). We looked at most parts of the exam; have a listen by following the links below:
This is another guest post by Katy Wright, the co-host of our podcast 2Ts in a Pod. This is a listening activity for B2+ students based around a clip from an episode of the popular podcast This American Life. The episode is called 20 Acts in 60 Minutes. The clip in question is an interview with the actor Tate Donovan in which he recounts a particularly embarrassing moment in his life. Download all the materials below:
Show a picture of Tate Donovan. Ask students if they recognise him (he was famously Joshua on Friends)
Tell students that they are going to listen to an him talking about an embarrassing moment.
Ask you students: What would an actor find embarrassing?
Play the audio file (This American Life: 20 acts in 60 minutes)
Were their predictions correct?
Give students the transcript
Ask them to listen again to the section and fill in the gaps. Tell them that there is one word per gap
The students may need you to play it several times to get the right answer. Give them the first letter of the word to help them if they are struggling.
Tell students that these are elements of connected speech. Ask students to drill (repeat after the teacher) the connect speech. If students are too embarrassed to do this tell them that it is ok to do this quietly (mumble drill)
Ask students to listen to the section again and this time underline the stressed words. You do the first word as an example
Check their answers
Now ask students to drill the section, sentence by sentence. Using both the connected speech and the stress.
Now tell them that they are going to say the words at the same time as the audio. Do this sentence by sentence, pausing in between to help students to catch up.
Ask students if they feel this has improved their understanding of connected speech and intonation in English.
Ask students to think about an embarrassing moment that they had or someone they know has had, but not to discuss is yet!
Tell them to think for 2 minutes and write down 5 – 10 words about their story.
When time is up, turn to their partner and tell their story
Monitor the class and note down example of errors or interesting language that emerges
In open class look at the emergent language and discuss improvements or other ways of expressing the same thing
Ask students to turn to another partner and repeat their story. This time trying to use the improvements discussed in open class
Ask students to write out their story for homework and record it on their phones. They can send the audio file to you for homework
Decoding Key – Stress Underlined
So all of a sudden, the 10 minutes we’re sitting there waiting for it to start, three or four people come up to me and recognize me. I mean, they know exactly who I am. And they are quotinglines from a television show I was on. And like, hey, you were Joshua on Friends.
Tell students they are going to listen to two people, Tim and Katy, talking about their pet hates. Check their understanding of pet hate [a common, everyday thing that can be really annoying]
Ask student to predict in groups about what could annoy Tim?
Listen to the extract and check their predictions
Ask students if they also find these things annoying.
Ask students to make a list of 3 of their biggest pet hates and share them with their partner
Listening in detail
Tell students they are going to listen to the extract again. This time they write down expressions they hear related to being annoyed or irritated
You may want to play the extract again is students are struggling
Students compare the expressions they have written.
Give the students the transcript of the extract. Ask them to underline the pragmatic language related to annoyance. Did they find them all?
Check understanding of the expressions in open class. Point out the stressed words of these expressions
Ask students to repeat the expressions with their partner to practice pronunciation and stress
Go back to the list of 3 pet hates they discussed earlier in the lesson. Ask students to talk about them again but this time using the expressions from the extract
Monitor and give feedback on emergent language
Students can practice the conversation a few times with a partner and then record their conversation “podcast” style. This could then be shared among the other members of the group on WhatsApp or a wiki if they feel comfortable to do so.
1:43 – 3:00 minutes
Katy: [00:00:00] But first Tim, what really annoys you? What really drives you up the wall?
Tim: [00:00:05] What drives me up the wall. I would say, in general, inconsiderate people really get on my nerves. So, especially in public places like on public transport, for example. Here in Barcelona, it’s really common. So, say you’re on the Metro, okay, and you’re coming up to a stop and it pulls, the Metro pulls into the station and stops the doors open and people try to get on the Metro before you’ve got off. Yeah it really, really drives me insane.
Katy: [00:00:42] So annoying.
Tim: [00:00:43] If you just let us off everything would be so much easier. Yeah. It really really really really gets on my nerves. Also another thing on the metro I think it’s quite common, um, that really annoys me is people listening to music without headphones on their mobiles.
Katy: [00:01:02] That annoys me if people are walking down the street. I don’t know. Just turn it down, put headphones in. Or turn it down.
Tim: [00:01:11] Yeah. No one wants to listen to that.
Katy: [00:01:12] No one cares.
Tim: [00:01:14] So that, that’s what really really really annoys me. Yeah, It drives me up the wall.
Episode 9 of the podcast is all about travelling, do you like to travel light? Have you got the travel bug? We spoke to two people who definitely have, Jon and Ania from hitchhikershandbook.com; they came on the show to tell us about their various adventures. We also spoke to people about their weird and wonderful travel experiences as well as our vocabulary section “5 Ways to Say.” Below you’ll find the timings of the episode in case you want to skip ahead or use specific parts in class:
Tim and Katy travel stories – 0 -13.30
Main Interview – John and Ania – 13.30 – 30.00
5 Ways to say – travel vocab – 30.10 – 35.00
Vox pops – Shay – 35.20 – 40.30
Outro – 40.35 – End
Enjoy! We appreciate any comments or feedback, let us know in the comments here or on Twitter or Facebook.
The fifth episode of our new podcast for B2+ English students and teachers alike is now live! In this episode we’re talking about our pet hates or things that really annoy us. Go to our SoundCloud page and download the teacher’s notes below:
On this episode we were talking about crimes like pick pocketing and mugging as well as other types of scam. We interviewed several people about their experiences being the victims of crime in Barcelona and other parts of the world. Hope you enjoy the show!
2Ts in a Pod – Teacher’s Notes Episode 4: Scams
00:00 – 03:14 – Intro chat
03:14 – 06:56 – Tim’s pickpocketing story
06:56 – 09:20 – Vox-pop with Vicky: Scams in Barcelona vs in Argentina
09:20 – 13:48 – Katy’s mugging story
13:48 – 17:06 – Five ways to say: Crime/scam expressions
17:06 – 20:54 – Vox-pop with Beranice: Barcelona robbery story
21:00 – 26:52 – I wanna be like you with Vicky
26:52 – 29:00 – Vox-pop with Lisa: Scam stories
29:00 – end – Thanks, credits, comment
Five Ways to Say…
I totally fell for the scam. (I believed it, I was tricked)
I was taken in by the con man. (he convinced/tricked me)
This sandwich cost me €8! What a rip-off! (overpriced/too expensive)
I got ripped off by the mechanic when I took my car in for a service.
I felt like a right idiot/plonker/tit after they stole my bag. (feel stupid)
Have you ever been pickpocketed? Or even mugged?
What advice would you give someone to help them avoid something similar happening to them?
Can you think of any other types of scam? Email scams? Phone scams? etc.
What do you think the punishment for these crimes should be?
Have you ever been ripped off when you bought something?
Where were you?
What did you buy?
When was the last time you felt like a right idiot/plonker/tit?
Episode 3 of 2Ts in a Pod is live! We’re talking about food, glorious food! We interviewed Nicole Hooks and Abbi Nelliug about US Southern soul food and traditional Dominican food respectively. Nicole speaks about her southern food pop-up supper club Sarah Juliette’s Southern Kitchen. Click the link below to find out more, she’s got an event coming up this weekend. Also, check out the recipe for the delicious gumbo that we taste on the show.
The show will be released every two weeks more or less. It is aimed at B2 level students and up, although we do have plans to make specific features for lower levels in the future.
For each episode we choose a different theme; the show is then divided into short features so that they can be listened to as one whole show or as more manageable chunks. We also believe this will make it a useful classroom resources for teachers.
The typical features you might find are:
• Interviews with special guests.
• Vox-pops: Short interviews with people out and about.
• Five ways to say: A feature designed to help boost listeners vocabulary related to the topic of the episode.
• Challenges or experiences: These will include Katy and Tim trying new foods, drinks and activities.
• Pronunciation focus: Here we’ll examine features of English pronunciation such as connected speech and intonation.
• Stop! Grammar time: An irreverent look at specific English grammar points.
• And many many more as we think of them!
This is our first podcast so we’re open to any and all constructive cricitism and feedback! We hope you enjoy the show!