Episodes
Published 02/16/24
This is a special edition podcast. Today I’m publishing The Octopus’s Garden as one complete story.  If you have listened to this story in the two parts I published two weeks ago (podcasts 179 and 180), you’ll remember that I have dedicated this story firstly, to the children of Gaza, who are suffering so terribly during this horrific war.  Secondly, I’ve also dedicated this story to my brother Nick Bilbrough and the HandsUp Project team, who worked for so many years to give the Gazan...
Published 02/16/24
Hello, dear listeners! This is part 2 of my story, The Octopus's Garden, which I'm dedicating to the children of Gaza and my brother's HandsUp Project team that has been working with Palestinian children to help them have a voice in the world by producing plays in English online. You can find out more about the HandsUp  Project here... (https://www.handsupproject.org/) Most of the language of this story is B1 with some B2 words added. You can find the audioscript at...
Published 02/06/24
Dunya Yousef Hussan AL-BARGHOUTI sat on the white sand and looked out across the deep blue of the Mediterranean Sea. Somehow, at last, she had found comfort here... This is a B1 to B2-level English podcast about my story dedicated to the children of Gaza. I will introduce a lot of new B2 words for you to listen for during the story. I also include a full AUDIOSCRIPT of the story at my website: https://www.practisingenglish.com/podcast-179.htm At https://www.practisingenglish.com/ I offer...
Published 01/30/24
A painting by Renoir inspired today's story. The painting is famous, and is called "The Luncheon of the Boat Party" (I have used the simpler word "Lunch"). These are the adjectives to talk about people's personality that I mention at the beginning: miserable lively keen lonely exhausted embarrassed easygoing reliable charming sensible cheerful talented And I discuss these two B1 expressions: a sense of humour in tears The question I ask is that you identify Angèle in the story, in the...
Published 01/15/24
Part 2 of my short story for B1 learners of English - Never Go Back. I'll look at the vocabulary I used, related to suspense. Here are the words I explain for you to listen for: Benjamin looked up, shocked at this unexpected and rude behaviour.  Why all this unfriendly behaviour, when this morning the hotel staff he had met had been so kind. Her face looked sour and unfriendly. ‘Your card, sir,’ she said. But her look was cold. He felt anxious and confused. Benjamin left the room angrily and...
Published 01/07/24
In this podcast I thank my listeners for all the times you have downloaded Practising English Podcasts in 2023. I'll talk a little about an English Christmas and read my B1 version of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. You can read the entire transcript at my website: https://www.practisingenglish.com/podcast-176.htm At https://www.practisingenglish.com/ I offer learners of intermediate-level English, grammar help and exercises and other English learning...
Published 12/18/23
Today is part 1 of my new story Never Go Back. It's in the thiller, suspense or even horror genre. I mention some useful B1 adjectives and other B2-level words and one swear word in English. I will release Part 2 of this story at the beginning of January. Here we go... At https://www.practisingenglish.com/ I offer learners of intermediate-level English, grammar help and exercises and other English learning pages. https://www.practisingenglish.com/ My latest novel for learners of B2 English...
Published 12/11/23
Jenny is looking for a relationship. Will she ever find somebody suitable?  Today's B1 story comes with a test. The story contains around 60 B1 words, which are useful for B1-level English study, and some of them are not easy to learn as they are not very intuitive (false friends). I include below a list of thes B1 words in the order they appear in the story: disappointed allow attempted advertising keen...
Published 12/03/23
The second part of Tsunami (See Podcast 172 for Part 1). Story for B1 and B2 learners of English. The words and expressions I describe today are: frightening strike fear into human hearts the heart beats faster mysterious giant horse screaming with/in fear, happiness be in shock a totally hopeless situation The three questions for the story area: 1, What else screamed besides the children? 2, Which animals are named in the story? 3, Which two Greek gods are named? At...
Published 11/19/23
B1-level story with questions and a grammar point. For the audioscript, please go to my website: https://www.practisingenglish.com/podcast-172.htm At https://www.practisingenglish.com/ I offer learners of intermediate-level English, grammar help and exercises and other English learning pages. https://www.practisingenglish.com/ My latest novel for learners of B2 English is called The Tudor Conspiracy. You can see it on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/33Axu2N https://amzn.to/33Axu2N Be back...
Published 11/13/23
I discuss some important language for part 1 of the reading paper of the Cambridge Preliminary B1-level exam and include those words in a story called The Picnic. The formal phrases for you to change to a more informal version are the following: 1) ‘I’ll make the arrangements,’ Marvin had then said. 2) I’m sure I have a few eggs available. 3) Actually, I’m not sure I have suitable ingredients for tiramisu. 4) Would you be available at six o’clock? 5) I suppose you have an announcement to...
Published 10/29/23
Advice for story-writing at B1 and B2 levels for Cambridge exams, and my short story Bigfoot for you to enjoy. You can follow the story this week on the transcript I include here and on at my website.  https://www.practisingenglish.com/podcast-170.htm At https://www.practisingenglish.com/ I offer learners of intermediate-level English, grammar help and exercises and other English learning pages. https://www.practisingenglish.com/ My latest novel for learners of B2 English is called The...
Published 10/15/23
The second part of my adaptation to B1-level English of the short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald "Three Hours between Flights". You can find the transcript of the story at: https://www.practisingenglish.com/podcast-169.htm At https://www.practisingenglish.com/ I offer learners of intermediate-level English, grammar help and exercises and other English learning pages. https://www.practisingenglish.com/ My latest novel for learners of B2 English is called The Tudor Conspiracy. You can see it...
Published 10/02/23
A B1-level version of a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I talk about aeroplane and airport language before starting this romantic story of two people, who haven't seen each other since they were at school, meet again when adults. You can find the transcript of the story at: https://www.practisingenglish.com/podcast-168.htm At https://www.practisingenglish.com/ I offer learners of intermediate-level English, grammar help and exercises and other English learning...
Published 09/25/23
This is the second part of the story "Dad" by M.A. Bilbrough. A story written for B1-level students of English.  The verbs we are studying today are: realize drop call out weigh admire encourage dive appear breathe hug At https://www.practisingenglish.com/ I offer learners of intermediate-level English, grammar help and exercises and other English learning pages. https://www.practisingenglish.com/ My latest novel for learners of B2 English is called The Tudor Conspiracy. You can see it on...
Published 09/12/23
This is part 1 of a B1-level story for learners of English, especially Cambridge English. The story is called Dad. It's about a family fishing trip in Spain. Vocabulary about the sea, boats and fishing equipment... At https://www.practisingenglish.com/ I offer learners of intermediate-level English, grammar help and exercises and other English learning pages. https://www.practisingenglish.com/ My latest novel for learners of B2 English is called The Tudor Conspiracy. You can see it on Amazon...
Published 09/03/23
I'm still on holiday so I'm away from my recording studio and just making a quick podcast using my mobile phone while people watching. This week, I'm going to talk about the verb 'to turn' and use it in the context of the people I can see in a shopping centre by the sea. Here are examples of the uses of this verb: Turned on the radio Turn around and walk away Turn something into something else Turn away and look somewhere else Turn to somebody to speak to them She stopped and turned. Turn...
Published 08/21/23
An atypical podcast! I'm just sitting outside a cafeteria in Seville watching the world go by. I comment on them and talk a little about Spain, its customs, and what people do in summer here. I apologize for all the background noise and this recording was just spoken directly into the mobile phone. At https://www.practisingenglish.com/ I offer learners of intermediate-level English, grammar help and exercises and other English learning pages. https://www.practisingenglish.com/ My latest...
Published 07/26/23
The word 'actually' is not an easy word to use in English for learners. In this podcast, I explain its meanings and uses and give lots of examples from my podcast stories. There's a full transcript with this episode, which you can read at https://www.practisingenglish.com/podcast-163.htm At https://www.practisingenglish.com/ I offer learners of intermediate-level English, grammar help and exercises and other English learning pages. https://www.practisingenglish.com/ My latest novel for...
Published 07/10/23
In today's podcast, I'm going to show you how to use present perfect, and that if you avoid present perfect, you may lose points in your Cambridge exam, especially at B1 level and above. I'm going to play some extracts from my stories here on Practising English as examples of present perfect use.  I include the transcript so you can listen and read. See transcript at https://www.practisingenglish.com/podcast-162.htm At https://www.practisingenglish.com/ I offer learners of intermediate-level...
Published 06/28/23
In this final part of the story (see part 1 at Podcast 160), Simon prepares for his part in the play, and life seems to be getting better for him - but will everything happen the way Simon imagined? Lots of B1 adjectives to listen for about personality:  alike, uninterested, embarrassed, ashamed, uncomfortable, charmimg, shy, stressed, nervous, serious, confident. Enjoy the story! At https://www.practisingenglish.com/ I offer learners of intermediate-level English, grammar help and...
Published 06/11/23
Part 1 of this B1-level short story with vocabulary about the theatre. In this first part, Simon Willoughby is a very shy man but is attracted towards Phillipa, but Phillipa is also a member of the local amateur dramatics group... At https://www.practisingenglish.com/ I offer learners of intermediate-level English, grammar help and exercises and other English learning pages. https://www.practisingenglish.com/ My latest novel for learners of B2 English is called The Tudor Conspiracy. You can...
Published 06/05/23
Short story called The Fool on the Hill for B1 learners of English. Useful personality adjectives and other vocabulary at B1 level. At https://www.practisingenglish.com/ I offer learners of intermediate-level English, grammar help and exercises and other English learning pages. https://www.practisingenglish.com/ My latest novel for learners of B2 English is called The Tudor Conspiracy. You can see it on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/33Axu2N https://amzn.to/33Axu2N Be back soon with another...
Published 05/22/23
The second and final part of the short story "Who was Sidney Peabody?". Listen for the adverbs I use in this story. The language is for B1-level students studying for Cambridge PET exam or similar. https://www.practisingenglish.com/podcast-158.htm At https://www.practisingenglish.com/ I offer learners of intermediate-level English, grammar help and exercises and other English learning pages. https://www.practisingenglish.com/ My latest novel for learners of B2 English is called The Tudor...
Published 05/07/23