Improve Listening Comprehension

ListenImproving your listening comprehension takes time and effort.  Why not try some of these to help you get motivated?



  1. Elementary Podcasts from The British Council
  2. Situational recordings: At the Bank, In a Restaurant
  3. Grammar Vocabulary and Pronunciation
  4. Learn with the British Council


  1. Simple English Videos to help you use English better
  2. How to make a Christmas Cake the old-fashioned way
  3. The London Olympic Challenge
  4. Short recordings about interesting people and places
  5. What would your ideal trip be?


  1. BBC Travel Show Pods
  2. Bitesized recordings about every topic you can imagine
  3. Listen to the BBC World News in one minute
  4. BBC podcasts and Downloads
  5. General and Business English
  6. Watch TV and Films online for free
  7. TED Playlists: Brilliant speeches for Advanced Learners
  8. Watch British TV programmes
  9. Advanced Culture Vultures – New York Met museum
  10. British Council Professional podcasts
  11. A Royal Romance – Love is Truly All Around
  12. Listen to the ideas of successful business gurus
  13. Listen to The British Council’s Podcasts for Professionals



gorgeousGorgeous:an adjective to explain that something or someone is extremely beautiful or brilliantly fantastic.

  1. To compliment someone: ”You look gorgeous today!”
  2. To say hello: Hi gorgeous!
  3. A South African pinot noir tastes gorgeous on a Sunday afternoon when you are chilling out with friends at the beach

VOCABULARY CHALLENGE: Idioms: The law and crime

crime vocabularyThe law, crime, punishment, criminal activity; how many words?!

Yes, it’s bonkers ( crazy/mental) how much vocabulary we have connected to this topic. So, how many of the words in the word cloud do you know?

Expressions and idioms:
And, there are lots of idioms and expression, oh yes! The following idioms all have their origin in criminal activity but they also have many uses in regular conversations to describe innocent situations.

It's a steal1: A steal
Definition: If something is a steal, it costs much less than it is really worth.
Example: I’ve just bought a flight to London. And, despite the fact that I’m not keen on being 35,000ft up in the sky in a tin can, it was a steal at €30.

2: Daylight robbery
Definition: This idiom is used to say that something is ridiculously expensive, especially when you have no choice but to pay.
Example: From my point of view the cost of electricity in Spain is daylight robbery.

3: To get away with murder
Definition: When you get away with murder, you are not punished for doing something bad.
action man kenExample: When I was a kid, I couldn’t stand dolls and I used to rip apart my dolls and then hunt out my sister’s dolls and rip their head off. Obviously, I had done something very, very bad and my sister was red with rage. However, my mother never punished me; so yes, I used to get away with murder.

Curiously, the only doll I kept was action man Ken. Yep, I wasn’t a girlie girl then and I’m not a girlie girl now.

Do you want to learn some more idioms? No problem, check out this video.


Remembering word patterns is very important if you want to improve your spoken and written accuracy. Personally speaking, the most effective way to do this is to read. However, to get you started here are a few word patterns to help you think like a police officer or a criminal.crime word patterns
crime word patterns 2
BurglaryFor example: on Saturday night, the local police arrested three youths for burglary. They were accused of breaking into a house and stealing a laptop, a digital radio, a mobile phone and a flat screen TV and  a cuddly toy. The three suspects claimed that they were not guilty of committing this crime. However, the police officer in charge said that although they might deny burglarising the house because they were caught on camera leaving the house with the stolen goods by a neighbour, they are bound to be found guilty of the crime in a court of law and will be charged with theft.


The English language has a plethora of words to describe different crimes. In addition, we have different words to describe the criminal as well as the action. So, if you need to brush up on your crime vocabulary, here’s a little exercise to help you. Good luck! If you want more vocabulary connected to crime and law enforcement then check out the Downloads section.

Crimes and criminals
Crimes and criminals a

LISTENING: The House of the Future

Living Tomorrow: The House of the Future- It’s a steal at 22 million Euros!
house of the futureDespite the fact that I’m not that into technology, I can’t stand wasting time so I really liked the fact that in this house I can order and pay for food from a kitchen smart board, I can immediately find out more information about what I’m eating and I can watch the news and check the weather forecast in an intelligent mirror while I’m brushing my teeth. However, on the other hand, all the cool and high-tech gadgets would just collect dust as I’d rather talk, touch, and smell people than get jiggy with a touch screen. Furthermore, 22 million Euros, are they pulling my leg? I could buy a small island for the same money.

Click here to check out this technology driven house. What are your feelings? Are you a techno-junkie? Or, are you more like me, a techno-avoider?

LISTENING: Is Technology Killing Your Memory?

It is often alleged by experts that we are killing our ability to remember things because we rely too much on technology to find out, process, retain and recall information.Unfortunately, this is true for me, since I started using technological devices to remind me of birthdays, telephone numbers, what food to buy and when I should phone my mother, I don’t remember a thing. I even have my home address saved in my mobile just in case I can’t remember where I live. On the other hand, I always forget to take it out with effect
However, surprisingly, this research study suggests that technology is not frying our memories. Rather, they suggest we are actively choosing NOT TO REMEMBER facts and information, instead, we are choosing to remember where to locate the information if we need it in the future. This is what they call the: Google Effect.

Listen to the video and make up your own mind. Don’t forget you can follow the typescript if you can’t understand a word the narrator is saying.


5 best shopping areas in London5 Easy steps to London Shopping:

Step 1: High-Street Shopping: Oxford Street

Step 2: Luxury Shopping: Knightsbridge

Step 3: Alternative Shopping: Camden Town

Step 4: Food Shopping: Borough Market

Step 5: Antiques Shopping: Portobello Road

OMG, this video is ‘vocabulary central’.  If you would like to review adjectives, idioms and expressions, then this is the video for you.  It’s fantastic! Click, click, click