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Category: General Published: 26 July 2009
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English as a Second Language (ESL) Podcast - Learn English Online

A podcast for those wanting to learn or improve their English - great for any ESL or EFL learner. Visit us at
  • Special Announcement from - New Select English Membership

    Posted on: 1 December 2016, 2:00 am
    Special annoucement about our new Select English Membership!

  • 600 - Talking About Sight

    Posted on: 19 July 2010, 1:00 am

    If you can’t read this, then put on your glasses and listen to this episode on having bad eyes.

    Slow dialogue: 1:07
    Explanations: 2:45
    Fast dialogue: 15:19

    Sue: This medication I’m taking is messing with my vision. Everything is blurry.

    Hamed: That’s a good reason for you to stay home from work today.

    Sue: I can’t. I have to give a presentation this afternoon and I can’t flake out on my coworkers.

    Hamed: What good are you to them if you’re blind as a bat?

    Sue: Everybody else will have crystal clear vision, so all I have to do is to put in an appearance. Things may not be as sharp as I’d like them to be, but I can still make out people and objects – as long as they’re really big.

    Hamed: I don’t think your coworkers are going to want you to blindside them today with your strange behavior. You’re going to do more harm than good.

    Sue: I can see well enough. I only see double if I move my head like this. Whoa…

    Hamed: At this point, I don’t care if you have X-ray vision. That medication is affecting more than your vision. It’s impairing your better judgment!

    Script by Dr. Lucy Tse

  • 190 - Taking a Phone Message

    Posted on: 14 August 2006, 7:00 pm

    Learn how to take and leave phone messages in this podcast.

    Slow dialog: 0:57
    Explanations: 3:42
    Fast dialog: 21:10

    I was looking forward to a quiet evening at home. As soon as I walked in the door, though, the phone rang.

    Paolo: Hello.

    Evelyn: Hi, could I speak to Tony?

    Paolo: He’s not here right now. Can I take a message?

    Evelyn: Do you know when he’ll be back?

    Paolo: No, I don’t.

    Evelyn: Okay. I’ll call back later. Thanks.
    Ten minutes later, the phone rang again.

    Paolo: Hello.

    Pam: Hi, is Tony there?

    Paolo: No, he’s out.

    Pam: Could I leave a message?

    Paolo: Sure. Give me a second to get something to write with…Okay, I’m ready.

    Pam: Could you tell him that Pam called and ask him to call me back as soon as he can.

    Paolo: Does he have your number?

    Pam: He should, but I’d better give it to you. It’s 279-555-6347.

    Paolo: Okay, I’ll tell him.

    Pam: Thanks.

    As soon as I put down the receiver, the phone rang again. I couldn’t believe it.

    Paolo: Hello.

    Susan: Hi, is this Tony?

    Paolo: No, I’m his roommate, Paolo. Tony’s not here right now.

    Susan: I need to get a hold of him. Do you have his cell number?

    Paolo: Uh, yeah, I do, but I’m not sure he wants me to give it out.

    Susan: Oh, I’m sure he’d want me to have it.

    Paolo: I tell you what. Why don’t I take your number and have him call you back?

    Susan: I really need to get a hold of him right away.

    Paolo: I’ll give him your message as soon as he gets home.

    Susan: Fine. This is Susan and my number is 742-555-3655. Please make sure he gets it. It’s important. Bye.

    Paolo: Bye.

    As soon as she hung up, I took the phone off the hook for the rest of the night. I’d had enough of being Tony’s answering service for one night!

    Script by Dr. Lucy Tse

  • 124 - Asking for Clarification in a Business Meeting

    Posted on: 27 January 2006, 7:00 pm

    Learn how to ask for clarification in English in this podcast.

    Slow dialog: 0:54
    Explanations: 2:29
    Fast dialog: 12:46

    I was negotiating a contract with a new business partner, and we had a meeting to clarify the terms.

    Bill: If I understand the terms correctly, the length of the contract would be one year with a one-year option. Is that correct?

    Ms. Samuels: Do you mean the contract for equipment rental or the one for training?

    Bill: I was under the impression that both contracts had the same terms.

    Ms. Samuels: Yes and no. Let me see if I can clarify that. The terms are the same except that the contract for training has a clause that allows for the cancellation after the first six months.

    Bill: Could you elaborate on that?

    Ms. Samuels: Sure. What I mean is that either side could cancel the training contract after the six months as long as it’s in writing.

    Bill: Let me see if I have that right. This contract is for six months of training, but if it isn’t cancelled, continues for another six months. Is that right?

    Ms. Samuels: Yes, that’s right.

    Bill: Okay, that’s clear enough. Let’s move on to the other terms . . .

    Script by Dr. Lucy Tse

  • 110 - Hotel Reservations

    Posted on: 20 December 2005, 11:20 am

    Learn how to make a hotel reservation in English in this podcast.

    Slow dialog: 1:27
    Explanations: 4:21
    Fast dialog: 14:53

    I just finished a huge project at work and I needed some down time. I decided to take a short vacation. I liked the idea of a long weekend out of town. My friend Sara offered to let me crash at her place in San Francisco, but I decided to stay at a hotel instead. Sara has a couple of roommates and I thought it might be too crowded.

    I called the toll- free reservation number for a major hotel chain. The reservation agent was very helpful, after I got through the long phone tree.

    Agent: Dutton Hotels. How may I help you today?

    Jeff: I wanted to check rates and availability for your San Francisco location.

    Agent: Certainly, I can help you with that. Will that be the downtown or waterfront location?

    Jeff: The waterfront location.

    Agent: What date do you plan to check in?

    Jeff: I'd like to check in on October 12th and check out the 15th.

    Agent: Okay, let me see what we have. For how many?

    Jeff: One. And, if possible, I'm looking for a non-smoking room.

    Agent: Sure, we have a non-smoking queen with an ocean view for $189 or a standard room with a courtyard view for $139 a night.

    Jeff: I'd like to book the standard room.

    Agent: Okay, your last name?

    Jeff: Rama.

    Agent: And, your first name?

    Jeff: It's Jeff.

    Agent: Okay, I have you booked in a standard non-smoking queen, checking in on October 12th and departing the 15th. What major credit card would you like to use to guarantee the reservation?

    Jeff: A Visa.

    Agent: The number and expiration?

    Jeff: It's 7388- 2424-3535- 1818 and the expiration is 05/08.

    Agent: Your confirmation number is PD672. Is there anything else I help you with?

    Jeff: No, that's all. Thanks.

    Agent: Have a nice day and thank you for calling Dutton Hotels.

    Script by Dr. Lucy Tse

  • English Cafe 552

    Posted on: 27 April 2016, 1:00 am

    Topics: American Presidents – Barack Obama; Famous Songs – “Anchors Aweigh”; diffidence versus timidity versus shyness; receipt versus reception; no problem versus not at all versus no big deal

    community organizer
    rising star
    campaign slogan
    no problem
    not at all
    no big deal

  • 1,150 - Avoiding Topics in Conversation

    Posted on: 27 October 2015, 2:00 am

    Let’s not talk about the topic of today’s episode right now. So, how’s your day going?

    Slow dialog: 1:25
    Explanations: 4:00
    Fast dialog: 18:29

    Lila: Why aren’t you dating? I have so many friends who would love to go out with you.

    George: Let’s change the subject. Talking about my love life isn’t very interesting.

    Lila: But really, you’re not getting any younger and…

    George: Moving on! Have you seen any good movies lately?

    Lila: Listen, all of your friends are settling down and you don’t want to go through life alone and lonely…

    George: That reminds me, didn’t you say that you were going to get another dog so that Rover isn’t lonely when you’re not home?

    Lila: Forget about my dog. You remember Rachel, don’t you? She just broke up with her boyfriend and she’d be perfect for you.

    George: Speaking of Rachel, how is her mother? Wasn’t she in the hospital?

    Lila: If Rachel isn’t your type, how about Amina? She has great legs and I know you’re a leg man.

    George: And now for something completely different…How is your diet coming along? Have you lost any weight yet?

    Lila: I don’t really want to talk about my weight.

    George: But I think you’re having trouble shedding those pounds, right? I have lots of suggestions on what you can do.

    Lila: Anyway, as I said before, I don’t really want to talk about my diet…

    George: You need to cut out sweets if you want to lose weight. Are you eating too many sweets?

    Lila: That’s none of your business!

    George: My sentiments exactly!

    Script by Dr. Lucy Tse

  • English Cafe #517

    Posted on: 26 August 2015, 1:00 am

    Topics: Movies – Die Hard; American Authors – Emma Lazarus; in front of versus ahead of versus before; as if versus as though versus as for; to take stock

    to be separated
    to give (something) another try
    to freshen up
    to be descend from
    to be well received
    to dedicate
    to persecute
    to huddle
    to yearn
    in front of
    ahead of
    as if
    as though
    as for
    to take stock

  • English Cafe #490

    Posted on: 18 February 2015, 1:00 am

    Topics: Famous Americans – Muhammad Ali; The Golden Gate Bridge; valuable versus invaluable; north/south versus northern/southern; common ground and universal experience

    to take up
    to reign
    social activist
    to be drafted
    to indict
    north / south
    northern / southern
    common ground

  • English Cafe #450

    Posted on: 14 May 2014, 1:00 am

    Topics: Famous Americans – Charles Schultz and Peanuts; The Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve; to be pleased to versus to be happy to versus it’s (one’s) pleasure to; to sit versus to seat; willy-nilly


    national park
    national preserve
    to designate
    to be pleased to
    to be happy to
    It’s (one’s) pleasure to
    to sit
    to seat

Author: Social Learning Network
About: Teaching resource - the 1st Vietnamse Portal in Metallurgy and Materials Technology. Cổng thông tin về lĩnh vực luyện kim và kỹ thuật vật liệu. Lĩnh vực chủ chốt: gang trắng Cr cao, thiêu kết xung điện plasma, xử lý nhiệt, tự động hóa trong luyện kim, luyện kim phi coke, động học hoàn nguyên Oxit sắt.


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