English as a Second Language (ESL) Podcast - Learn

English as a Second Language (ESL) Podcast - Learn


A podcast for those wanting to learn or improve their English - great for any ESL or EFL learner. Visit us at http://www.eslpod.com.


1,253 - Using a Ridesharing Service  

Get where you want to go without using your own car, a bike, a bus, or a taxi. Is it magic? Find out in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:25
Explanations: 4:04
Fast dialog: 19:58

Carl: Let’s get a taxi.

Doris: There’s no need. I’ve already ordered a car.

Carl: A limo? That’s too expensive.

Doris: No, I’m using a ridesharing service. It’s cheaper than a taxi. There’s no meter and we pay a set price.

Carl: But how do we know it’s safe? How do we know the driver isn’t a criminal or an unsafe driver? Is he going to have car insurance? Do they do background checks?

Doris: Even though it’s a peer-to-peer service, the drivers are carefully screened and the cars are tracked. Trust me. This ride will be safe.

Carl: We don’t have much cash on us.

Doris: I have a credit card on file. No cash will change hands. Look, here’s our driver. Hello, Michael.

Carl: You know our driver?

Doris: He’s my son.

Carl: But why are you paying for a ride if your son is available to pick us up?

Doris: He has his pride. He won’t take any money from me so we came up with a compromise: I hire his car whenever I need a ride to or from the airport. It works for us and there’s a bonus.

Carl: What’s that?

Doris: I get to see my son every time I travel.

Carl: That seems like a strange arrangement.

Doris: That may be so, but if you can’t get your son to visit more often, what’s a mother to do?

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse

English Cafe 577  

Topics: Famous Americans – Stephen F. Austin; Classic TV – M*A*S*H; disability versus handicap versus impairment; recourse versus resort; to fly in the face of (something)

land grant
to negotiate
to annex
to resort to
to fly in the face of (something)

1,252 - Reneging on a Promise  

I promise you that you will learn all about how to break a promise on this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:23
Explanations: 3:43
Fast dialog: 17:56

Jean-Paul: What’s going on? I thought it was a done deal.

Charlene: I think you misunderstood. The last time we talked, I said I would think about partnering up, but now that I have, I’m going to beg off.

Jean-Paul: What you said was that you were agreeable to the idea and that we would work out the details later. Now you’re backtracking?

Charlene: I would never renege on a promise. If I gave my word, I would follow through. In this case, I didn’t.

Jean-Paul: I’m really surprised by your denial. I didn’t have you pegged as someone who backs out of deals.

Charlene: All I can say is that we don’t see eye to eye. Let’s agree to disagree and leave it at that.

Jean-Paul: That’s easy for you to say. Your failure to honor your promise is going to put me in a very awkward position.

Charlene: How’s that? We only spoke yesterday.

Jean-Paul: I may have made some promises of my own and now I’ll have to get out of them somehow.

Charlene: May I make a suggestion?

Jean-Paul: What? Deny, deny, deny?

Charlene: Well, it’s worked for me.

Jean-Paul: Oh, the nerve of some people!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse

1,251 - Getting a Confession  

If the police arrest you, don’t tell them anything. Call a lawyer and then listen to this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:21
Explanations: 3:10
Fast dialog: 17:44
Andy: I got it! I got a confession.

Diane: You got a confession out of that suspect? How did you do it? We’ve been after that guy for days.

Andy: I put the pressure on and he buckled.

Diane: Did you make threats?

Andy: Of course I made threats. It’s an interrogation, not a tea party.

Diane: The confession is no good if it’s coerced.

Andy: I may have gone over the line a little, but who’s to know?

Diane: He knows and any half-decent lawyer will make mincemeat out of that confession. He’ll get it thrown out of court in a heartbeat.

Andy: I leaned on him a little hard, but it’s not like I put the screws on him.

Diane: You have a lot to learn.

Andy: Do you think I should go back in there and talk to him?

Diane: Stay out of there. You’ve done enough damage. Rookies!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse

English Cafe 576  

Topics: American Authors – James Baldwin; Famous Songs – "High Hopes"; homeless versus destitute; odd versus odds; "I'm not a has-been. I am a will-be."

to base something on
sexual orientation
civil rights
high hopes
campaign song
to be on the right track
to back

1,250 – Dealing With Bossy People  

Learn how to handle people who always want to tell you what to do in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:32
Explanations: 3:40
Fast dialog: 16:40

Rachel: What you need to do is…

Logan: Stop bossing me around! I know what I’m doing so back off.

Rachel: What’s gotten into you? I’m not bossing you around. I’m trying to help you. Some people are so ungrateful.

Logan: It’s true that I’ve made my share of mistakes, but I don’t need you here to push me around calling all the shots.

Rachel: Here’s a reality check: Without me keeping an eye on you and steering you away from bad decisions, you’d be back in trouble again.

Logan: When I asked for your help, I’d forgotten how pushy and controlling you are. I’m not going to let you walk all over me like you did when we were kids.

Rachel: Who is trying to walk all over you? If you think I’m being high-handed then I’m out of here.

Logan: Good. I don’t know what possessed me to ask you for help in the first place.

Rachel: Well, things never change, do they?

Logan: Apparently not!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse

1,249 – Making Temporary Repairs  

Sometimes you don’t need to fix things perfectly to get them to work. Learn more in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:36
Explanations: 3:48
Fast dialog: 18:45

Desiree: Hey, what happened to the lights?

Chris: I think you have a short or maybe a loose wire.

Desiree: My guests are going to arrive any minute. What am I going to do?

Chris: Don’t worry. In an emergency, I’m your man. Whatever the problem is, I can probably find a stopgap solution.

Desiree: Are you sure? I don’t want you to get electrocuted.

Chris: When I was growing up, we lived in the middle of nowhere and my parents had to make do. They improvised all the time, using what was on hand to make repairs.

Desiree: They both sound very handy.

Chris: They did what they had to do. Whatever the problem was, they were able to cobble together something, even if it was a little makeshift. I like to think I learned a thing or two from them.

Desiree: So do you think you can fix this?

Chris: Well, it’s not going to be done properly, but I’ll jury-rig something so the lights will work temporarily until you can get it repaired professionally.

Desiree: That’s great, but just in case, I think I’ll run to the store for some candles.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse

English Cafe 575  

Topics: The Pennsylvania Mutiny of 1783 and the creation of the District of Columbia; The Hollywood Sign; next versus upcoming versus future; critical situation versus critical position; steaming

to represent
to erect
chamber of commerce
to restore
to trespass
critical situation
critical position

1,248 - Describing New and Old Equipment  

Get the latest, best machine in this episode - and learn how to talk about it to your friends!
Slow dialog: 1:36
Explanations: 3:23
Fast dialog: 18:47

Oleg: Geez, look at that dinosaur.

Raquel: This is not a dinosaur. It’s a classic. It will never go out of style and it’s built to last.

Oleg: It’s an antique and belongs in a museum. You’ve got to get with it and get one of these.

Raquel: What’s that?

Oleg: It’s the latest model, with cutting edge design. It’s brand spanking new.

Raquel: That’s all right. This machine is tried-and-true and it never lets me down.

Oleg: Why don’t you take this for a test drive? It’ll be an eye-opening experience for you.

Raquel: No, thanks.

Oleg: You don’t know what you’re missing.

Raquel: That’s true, but I’m happy with my machine.

Oleg: Fine. I’m just trying to help you move with the times.

Raquel: Thanks, but no thanks. I’ll stick with what I know and love.

Oleg: It just goes to show there’s no accounting for taste.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse

1,247 - Doing Meal Planning  

Make a grocery list and check it twice! Learn how to shop for food in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:21
Explanations: 4:02
Fast dialog: 15:35
Donny: Have you ever heard of something called a “meal plan”?

Helene: Sure, I make one each week before I go grocery shopping. It saves time and money.

Donny: My mother suggested I make one now that I’m staying home with the kids and Sydney is going back to work.

Helene: See this? This is my meal plan. I map out the dinners I’ll be making each day. It helps me a lot.

Donny: How? It seems like a lot of work.

Helene: Well, for one thing, I only have to go grocery shopping once a week. I buy a week’s worth of groceries in one fell swoop.

Donny: I guess that’s helpful, but it still seems like too much work.

Helene: Here’s what I do. I look at each week’s store circular to see what’s seasonal and on sale. I pull out my recipes that include those items and I see if I have any coupons I can use.

Donny: I still don’t see how I can save much money.

Helene: I also use the sale items for more than one meal and make enough to have leftovers for lunch the next day. It works like a charm.

Donny: I think I’ll stick to my original plan.

Helene: Which is?

Donny: To plead ignorance and ask my mother over to our house to give me cooking lessons. By the time I cook well enough on my own, the children will be nearly full-grown!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse

English Cafe 574  

Topics: Classic TV & Movies – Mission: Impossible; Famous Americans – Alfred Stieglitz; satisfactory versus satisfying; damaged goods and majorly unfair

to disavow
to self-destruct
special effects
damaged goods
majorly unfair
to kill (someone) with kindness

1,246 - Getting a Gynecological Exam  

Learn about how to talk about common women’s health issues in English in this episode.
Slow dialog: 1:20
Explanations: 4:17
Fast dialog: 19:34

Matt: Hello, viewers! On our show today, we have Dr. Rodriguez, who is here to tell us about women’s health. Welcome, Dr. Rodriguez.

Dr. Rodriguez: Thanks for having me.

Matt: Tell us. As a gynecologist, what one piece of advice would you give to women to help them stay healthy?

Dr. Rodriguez: Well, as part of their regular checkups, they should be getting a gynecological exam.

Matt: This may surprise you, but I’ve never had one. Ha, ha!

Dr. Rodriguez: When women come in for an exam, I check several things. I do a breast exam to check for lumps to detect breast cancer. I also show women how to do this at home on their own.

Matt: Is that all?

Dr. Rodriguez: No, I do a pelvic exam and a Pap smear to rule out cervical cancer. I also look for anything problematic, such as unusual discharge or signs of STDs.

Matt: That sounds painful. Ouch!

Dr. Rodriguez: It’s not painful and it’s very important. I also discuss with women their menstrual cycles, issues related to being sexually active, birth control methods, fertility issues, and menopause.

Matt: I didn’t know what I was missing!

Dr. Rodriguez: My point is that it’s important for women to talk to their doctor about any medical issues they may have.

Matt: And my point is: I’m glad I’m not a woman!

Dr. Rodriguez: That’s not the message…

Matt: Thanks for coming in, doctor. And now, let’s talk about something really important – celebrity news!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse

1,245 - Measuring Mass and Volume  

They say a teaspoon of sugar helps the medicine go down, but what about three quarts? Find out how to talk about measurements in English in this episode.
Slow dialog: 1:38
Explanations: 2:50
Fast dialog: 17:59

Andre: Three gallons of water.

Dana: Check.

Andre: A quart of lemon juice.

Dana: Got it.

Andre: A tablespoon of bleach.

Dana: Bleach?

Andre: Bleach. A pint of vinegar.

Dana: It’s in there.

Andre: A cup of baking soda.

Dana: Okay.

Andre: A teaspoon of liquid detergent.

Dana: Done.

Andre: A pound of bath salts.

Dana: A pound?

Andre: A pound. Three tablespoons of chlorine.

Dana: Okay.

Andre: An ounce of perfume.

Dana: Done. Do you really think this is necessary?

Andre: Have you smelled your stinky dog?!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse

English Cafe 573  

Topics: American Authors – Kurt Vonnegut; Famous Songs – “When You Wish Upon a Star”; to knock up versus to knock down versus to knock over versus to knock off; new versus brand new; give and take

to capture
to bomb
science fiction
to hope
to wish
to knock up
to knock down
to knock over
to knock off
brand new
give and take

1,244 - Preparing Packages for Shipping  

Good things come in small packages, but you have to make sure they don’t break when you mail them. Find out how to prevent that in this episode.
Slow dialog: 1:28
Explanations: 4:06
Fast dialog: 18:28

Suzanne: Pass me the packing tape. This box is ready to be sealed.

George: Wait! You can’t just send our product like that. It needs to be protected so it won’t break in transit.

Suzanne: That doesn’t speak well for our product, does it?

George: It has nothing to do with the quality of our product. It’s all about the quality of the packing. Hand me some bubble wrap.

Suzanne: Here.

George: See what I’m doing? I’m wrapping each product in two layers of bubble wrap, placing them in the box, and then filling in the gaps with packing peanuts. Got that?

Suzanne: Fine, I’ll pack it the way you want it. What about these smaller products? You want them packed in a box?

George: No, the smaller products should be shipped in padded mailers like these.

Suzanne: Should I wrap the product in bubble wrap first?

George: No, these padded mailers should protect them from impact.

Suzanne: Good. Let’s put on a label and be done with it.

George: Hold on. These boxes and mailers need to be taped up so they don’t open during shipping. Make sure all openings are sealed.

Suzanne: Okay, now are we done?

George: Sure, with this batch – just 64 more to go.

Suzanne: Uh!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse

1,243 - Getting an Anesthetic  

Count backwards from 100 while listening to this episode. If you fall asleep before it’s over, you’re probably about to have surgery. You'd better start listening right away.

Slow dialog: 1:35
Explanations: 3:59
Fast dialog: 16:20

Nurse: I’m here to prep you for your procedure. Did the doctor already talk to you about the general anesthetic you’ll be getting?

Bruce: I don’t need a general anesthetic. I want to be conscious during the procedure.

Nurse: You’ll be inhaling a general anesthetic and getting an intravenous muscle relaxant. That’s standard for this procedure.

Bruce: I’m not a wimp. Tell the doctor all I need is a local anesthetic to numb the area.

Nurse: You’ll need something stronger. You don’t want to feel any sensation or pain during the procedure.

Bruce: I’m not afraid of a little pain. Bring it on!

Nurse: Anyway, the general anesthetic will wear off soon after the procedure. However, the doctor will keep you under sedation for the rest of the day so you can rest.

Bruce: Forget it. When it’s done, I’m going home. I’m not staying here overnight.

Nurse: That’s not advisable. You need to remain under observation for 24 hours.

Bruce: That’s for other people. I’m tough. I’ll be up and ready to go. What’s that needle for?

Nurse: It’s to give you a shot before your procedure.

Bruce: [whimpers] I don’t like needles. Get that away from me!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse

English Cafe 572  

Topics: Famous Americans – Eli Whitney; The Ziegfeld Follies; ROFL, straight outta, and meme; shack versus shed; to take advantage of versus to seize

to sue
mass production
straight outta
to take advantage of
to seize

1,242 - Having Difficulty Reaching a Group Decision  

Is it better to be right or to get out of that meeting a few minutes earlier? Find out in this episode about getting everyone in a group to agree.

Slow dialog: 1:10
Explanations: 3:17
Fast dialog: 17:05

Derrick: That does it. I give up!

Liz: Don’t lose heart. We’ll come to a consensus sooner or later.

Derrick: No, we won’t. We’re hopelessly deadlocked.

Liz: It’s true we’re evenly split right now, but we only need one person to change their mind to break the tie.

Derrick: The trouble is, everybody seems to have made up their minds and they’re beginning to dig in their heels.

Liz: Before they do, let’s take one more vote. Maybe somebody has changed their mind.

Derrick: I doubt it. Nobody wants to be outvoted so both sides are trying to maintain the status quo. They’d rather be deadlocked than on the losing side.

Liz: But if we don’t reach an agreement, we’ll have to come back tomorrow and continue our discussions and deliberations.

Derrick: You’re right! I can’t spend another day in this room. I’ve held out long enough.

Liz: What do you mean?

Derrick: The only way I’m getting out of here is to change sides!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse

1,241 - Breaking an Arm or a Leg  

If you fall and break your arm or leg, you will want to know how to talk about it in English. Learn how in this episode.
Slow dialog: 1:24
Explanations: 3:25
Fast dialog: 17:10

Elizabeth: We need to get you to the hospital right now!

Sidney: I took a tumble, that’s all. It’s nothing – just a little pain in my elbow and leg.

Elizabeth: Your arm is twisted in an odd angle and you’re limping. You could have broken bones.

Sidney: In the past, I’ve had a compound fracture in my ankle and a stress fracture in my wrist, and they both hurt a lot more than this. I’m sure it’s nothing serious.

Elizabeth: Look how your arm is swelling up. It almost looks deformed. And you still can’t put weight on your leg.

Sidney: The last thing I need right now is to get a splint or a cast. I have to get to work.

Elizabeth: You can’t work in the shape you’re in. Why don’t you let me take you to the emergency room to get treated?

Sidney: I’ll just take a couple of painkillers and walk it off.

Elizabeth: You mean limp it off. Well, in the end, it’s your arm, it’s your leg, and it’s your funeral!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse

English Cafe 571  

Topics: Classic TV Shows – The Addams Family; The Hoover Dam; “Silence is only frightening to people who are compulsively verbalizing”; pronouncing “man” and “men”

to verbalize

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