Host’s choice episode – Maura’s choice: Pig out!

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This episode goes all the way back to 2009 in Culips history! Maura thought this would be a great episode to share with you because people often pig out around Christmas and New Year’s. There are so many dinners and get-togethers at this time of year that people often eat a lot more than usual. And that’s not even taking Christmas cookies into account! This is often what causes people to make the New Year’s resolution to get in shape! Listen to this episode if you’re still feeling the effects of all those holiday treats. Yum!

Maura: Sometimes people pig out around the holiday season.
Jessie: Yeah. The holidays are a really good time for pigging out.
Maura: Yeah. So, maybe Thanksgiving or Christmas, families get together and you have, you know, the turkey and stuffing and all of that food, and you eat so much.
Jessie: Hey, speaking of stuffing, I think there’s another phrase that means kind of the same as “to have pigged out.” So, you could say, “Oh, I feel stuffed.”
Maura: Yeah. So if you ate a lot, you feel full after, so I feel stuffed.
Jessie: Yeah. So you could say after you pig out, you feel stuffed.
Maura: Yeah! We also use the expression like “pig out,” another one is “stuff my face” or “stuff your face.”

Expressions from this episode included in the Learning Materials:

To pig out The holiday season
To feel stuffed/full To chew
To gain 10 pounds/to gain weight A buffet
A potluck

Podcast/ Lipservice: Culips ESL Podcast, Photo: Culips

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Host’s choice episode – Harp’s choice: Tips for Canadian job interviews

Job Interview
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Around this time of year, lots of people want to make a change in their lives. And one of those changes might be a new job! That’s why Harp chose this episode for you. This episode was first released just over 2 years ago, but the advice Harp gives is still relevant today, and might just help you land that new job. There’s also a ton of job-related vocabulary to check out, too.

Maura: Now, another question I have is about dressing, because some people don’t know whether to wear a suit or dress more casually.
Harp: I think that you should dress professionally, and there’s always that saying, dress for the job that you want, not the job that you’re interviewing for, so if you want to be a manager, wear a suit. It’s better to be overdressed than underdressed. So don’t wear jeans, don’t wear something you would wear to go clubbing, don’t wear anything that’s ripped. Wear clean, professional-looking clothes, even just a sweater and dress pants if they’re clean, ironed, professional looking.
Maura: That’s good advice. So, you must have some advice for us now during the interview, when everyone is the most nervous. What can we do to be successful?
Harp: You know, before I went into recruitment, one of my friends told me she goes into in an interview always telling herself she can get this job. So she’s so confident. You know, she’s passed every single interview? She’s gotten every single job she’s interviewed for.

Expressions from this episode included in the Learning Materials:

Back by popular demand Tips and advice
To be pumped Press releases
To google it To set you apart
To think on your feet The trick
To put a positive spin on something Dress for the job you want, not the job you’re interviewing for
Overdressed and underdressed The thank-you email

Podcast/ Lipservice: Culips ESL Podcast, Photo: Lewis Minor

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Host’s choice episode – Andrew’s choice: Learning languages

Learning Language
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esl podcastLearning Language

If your New Year’s resolution is to improve your English-language skills, let this one inspire you! Here’s an episode from the Culips vault about learning languages. Learning a new language can be such a complicated process! Anyone who has ever attempted to learn a new language probably has stories of frustration and difficulty, as well as funny stories of misunderstandings. In this episode, Harp and Maura share their own experiences learning a few different languages.

Maura: Now, we’ve also had a little bit of experience with other languages, right? How much Korean did you learn when you lived there?
Harp: When I was there, I knew a lot. I could not have a basic conversation, but I was teaching English and I was working with kids so I was able to speak with them, give them commands and I was able to read Korean because Korean is a very easy language to pick up in terms of the written part of it, but it’s still a complicated language.
Maura: Oh yeah. Well, when I lived in Japan, I learned a little bit. I learned some expressions and some words that were important. But to be honest, I had just been trying to learn French for a year and then I realized how difficult it was to learn a language. And so when I was in Japan, I didn’t really immerse myself in Japanese. I just learned a little bit to get by.
Harp: Yeah. I learned enough to talk to taxi drivers, shopkeepers, and the kids in school.
Maura: But I do think that Japanese was much easier to understand orally than French, because the pronunciation was so much clearer, that in French I found it really difficult to understand at the beginning.
Harp: Oh, that’s very interesting.

Expressions from this episode included in the Learning Materials:

Kindergarten To pick up
The thing is… Like a fish out of water
To work someone to the bone Learned/learnt
To get by To hold back
Sink or swim To stick it out
To be better off To open your mind/eyes
Nursery rhymes

Podcast/ Learning Materials: Culips English Podcast, Photo: cleverClaire

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Study habits

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How people study varies from person to person, from school to school, and from place to place. In this episode, Andrew shares his experience of doing a master’s degree in Montreal, and tells us about what being a university student is like for him. Technology has certainly had an impact on education, and this episode will bring you up to speed on some of those changes. Listen in to learn more about the life of a Canadian grad student!

sample dialog

Harp: I remember having to write so many notes, and having a callous where you would just write and write and write in class.
Andrew: Yeah. And now if I do have to write something, like an exam or a quiz, in class, it really shocks me. Because I’m like, “Why am I doing this?” Like, my hand doesn’t know what to do. It gets cramped up after a couple of minutes. It’s really pathetic. And it’s sort of sad. Like, we’re losing the art of writing. And my handwriting now is super sloppy, and I’m always afraid that the professors can’t read it. But it’s just the way that things are going. We’re switching to electronic note taking.
Harp: Yeah. I wonder if there’s ever gonna be a time when we’re writing our exams on computers at school.
Andrew: Well, a lot of my quizzes that I do have to take are online now. And I just take them whenever I want. There’s a window, like, a 24-hour window, and I just log in and write the quiz at my house.
Harp: Wow. So much has changed since I was in university.

Expressions from this episode included in the Learning Materials:

To be looking to do something In the thick of it
Poli-sci, HR, and other short forms The light at the end of the tunnel
A window Stop it!
There’s something to be said for… An open-book test
To be in it together To learn something the hard way
To get something down 400-level classes
Double duty Thesis and Theses
To have something under your belt It’s downhill from there

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It’s as clean as a whistle

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It’s great when you have a nice, clean space, and you may want to talk about it. This episode is all about expressions for saying that something is really clean. Harp and Maura also talk about whether their bedrooms were spick and span as teenagers, and Maura asks Harp whether her desk at work is a disaster. Listen to this one to hear the dirty truth. It’s sure to inspire you to make your home spotless!

sample dialog

Maura: feel like this conversation is really a classic. Teenagers are known for having messy bedrooms. So I’m gonna ask you, Harp, was your bedroom messy when you were a teenager?
Harp: Hmm. I was the kind of kid who would have it messy all week and then clean it up on Saturdays. And then it would be messy all week. But my mom didn’t really have to ask me. On Saturday morning I would just get up and clean it. I like to pretend it was organized and clean, but I was a bit of a slacker during the week. How about you?
Maura: Well, I have to say that recently I was going through some old pictures and I saw a picture of my bedroom when I was a teenager, and I was blown away by how messy it was. At the time, it didn’t bother me. I knew it was messy, but I didn’t care. But now, looking at, it I was really shocked.
Harp: Wow! Really? Could you even see the floor?
Maura: No.

Expressions from this episode included in the Learning Materials:

As clean as a whistle To see your reflection in something
To be down on your hands and knees Spick and span
To be blown away A pig
Wear and tear Spotless
You missed a spot What’s going on?
The head honcho A disaster
A cleaning blitz Squeaky clean

english PodcastPodcast/Learning Materials: Culips English Podcast, Photo Culips

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She just swept it under the rug

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Have you ever done something that you wanted to forget about, and hoped that everyone else would forget about it too? If so, then you wanted to sweep it under the rug. This week’s episode is about wanting to pretend that something didn’t happen. Sometimes people act this way when they’re embarrassed. Other times people act this way because they see a problem and they don’t want to deal with it. Whatever the reason, listen to this episode to hear what Harp and Maura think of burying your head in the sand.

sample dialog

Harp: To sweep something under the rug.
Maura: Mmhmm. To sweep something under the rug is to hide something. So you pretend that something isn’t happening because maybe you’re embarrassed by it or you don’t know how to solve the problem.
Harp: Yeah, to sweep something under the rug is to conceal something and hope that other people don’t notice it.
Maura: Right. It’s like trying to keep a problem a secret. So you’re hiding that there’s a problem because you don’t want to deal with it.
Harp: Yeah. And when I think of this expression, to sweep something under the rug, I actually think of when I’m sweeping my house and I don’t feel like picking up all the dirt, and I just put it under the rug instead of having to clean it up, pick it up, and throw it in the garbage.
Maura: Do you actually do that, Harp?
Harp: I may have done it when I was a kid.

Expressions from this episode included in the Learning Materials:

To sweep something under the rug Busted
It’s about time What can you do?
To resurface Down the line
To come back to haunt you The pronunciation of bury
To bury your head in the sand The papers
To drum up It wouldn’t hurt
To turn a blind eye To turn a deaf ear

english PodcastPodcast/Learning Materials: Culips English Podcast, Photo Culips

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Busted!

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When you listen to the news in English, you might hear about someone getting busted. In this episode, we take a look at some expressions that can be used to talk about police catching criminals and making arrests. Sometimes the police have been investigating someone for a huge illegal operation, and other times someone might get busted for something as simple as speeding. Listen to this episode to learn about a bunch of expressions that have to do with getting caught breaking the law or doing something wrong. Hopefully, you won’t be using any of these to talk about yourself!

sample dialog

Andrew: If you get caught by the police for breaking the law, you’ve been busted.
Harp: Yeah. And it could be something like speeding. So, he got busted for speeding, or it could be something really serious, like, he got busted for a big drug deal.
Andrew: That’s right. It’s usually used for more serious crimes, and I feel like when somebody’s busted, the police sort of have been planning out their actions; they’ve done an investigation, they’ve been following somebody, and they usually surprise the person, maybe in their apartment. They break down the door, they run in, they catch the person when they’re not suspecting that they’re being chased by the police, and that’s really what a bust is to me.
Harp: Yeah. I definitely agree with you. It’s usually something big. And I have the same visual in my head of the police breaking down the door and surprising the criminals.

Expressions from this episode included in the Learning Materials:

Tech savvy To fall of your radar
To bust someone A loner
A ring To crack down on something or someone
To nab someone A mule
Yikes To tag
To round up someone or something To think twice
Sketchy To carry out something
To hack

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Healthy Eating

Healthy-Eating
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People seem to be paying more attention than ever to the food they eat. This is part 2 of our episodes on healthy living. This one is dedicated to food, and talking about what Canadians are doing to stay healthy. Andrew and Harp talk about popular lifestyle choices, like vegetarianism, and also the practice of dieting. How do they both stay so fit? Listen to this episode to find out!

sample dialog

Harp: Basically a vegetarian is someone who doesn’t eat meat.
Andrew: That’s right. They don’t eat meat. They’re open to eating other animal products like eggs and milk and cheese, but any meat they stay away from.
Harp: Yup. And sometimes people will eat some fish and still be a vegetarian, but in general it means that most of their diet is fruits, vegetables, grains, things like that.
Andrew: That’s right and this is, I would say, a pretty popular lifestyle in Canada, almost any restaurant that you go to will have vegetarian options and if you say that you’re vegetarian, no one really gives you a strange look anymore like maybe it used to happen in the past. I think it’s pretty much an accepted way of life.
Harp: Yeah. I think there are very few restaurants where there are no vegetarian options.
Andrew: OK and going one step further than vegetarianism are vegans and vegans are people who don’t eat any meat or really any animal products so fish, cheese, milk, butter, eggs – these are things that they all avoid eating.

Expressions from this episode included in the Learning Materials:

To be stuffed Vegetarians and vegans
Raw food Local food
To push for something Diets
Everything in moderation A cleanse
There’s something to it To be down to do something
To be on the fence To be gung ho
My take (on something) A loophole

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Working out

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People are active all around the world in different ways: playing sports, going to the gym, or physical activity that is part of their daily routine. Here’s an episode that is all about getting in shape, however you do it. Listen to this one to find out which sports are popular for kids and also some of the most popular things that adults are currently doing to stay fit. Andrew and Harp also tell you what exercise they try to do regularly. Here’s an idea: To exercise your brain and your body, listen to this episode while you’re at the gym!

sample dialog

Harp: And then we’re gonna talk about what we do to stay in shape. OK. So let’s get started with our first topic which is sports we played as a kid.
Andrew: Yeah. Sports we played when we were kids and I played pretty much every sport you can think of when I was a kid.
Harp: Really?
Andrew: Yeah. I don’t know, maybe I was a really hyper child and my parents just wanted me to go and play sports and burn off lots of energy, so I’ll be calmer at home, but my parents made me play almost every sport you can think of.
Harp: That’s so interesting, off the top of your head, all the sports you played when you were a kid.
Andrew: All the sports I played. I played hockey, it was my favourite. I played t-ball, baseball, soccer, and badminton. I think that’s it. That’s almost all of them.
Harp: Yup. That’s a lot of sports.

Expressions from this episode included in the Learning Materials:

To burn off Off the top of your head
Cartwheels and summersaults To make perfect sense
Feverish Not to hold your breath
To be the odd man out To sell someone on something
To suck To put your foot down
Not to see yourself To give something a go
To be wiped out Toque

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