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Recordings of real conversations and interviews, with transcripts of the conversations so you can read and listen at the same time. It is a good way to learn real English.

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Learn the language of news and weather and world events while following news and weather and world events, and learn to understand and write about them in the English Conversations Almanac.

I am more than a bird


In this song the singer says: “I am more than a bird.”

He also talks about “kryptonite” and references the phrases from Superman:

Look up in the sky!
It is not a bird. It is not a plane.
Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings at a single bound.


What do you know about superman?

Superman is a fictional American hero. Is he popular in your culture?

What do people think about Superman?
What do people think about America?


American Superheroes

Share your thoughts...

Listening to Phrases in a Complex Talk


Listening is a difficult skill. Here are some ideas to help with listening practice:

Do not expect to understand everything at the first listening. Listen for words and phrases that you can understand. Do not worry about the parts you do not get. Focus on what you DO get.

Complex Text

The above audio text is complex text. You will not understand everything at first. It does not matter. It is not important. Just listen.

Which words did you hear?
Which phrases did you identify?

Partial Transcript

The audio is about a book by Herman Hesse

Did you get these:

Hello everyone.

My name is Rachel

a very complicated book

it was published
it was first translated into into English

briefly summarise the plot

a futuristic world

play and nurture

makes it clear

not what Hesse actually intended the book to be about

more than just a coming of age story

hard to explain

the fictional biographer’s perspective

somewhere in my brain i understand

to me ..

especially because

monasteries have served as preservers and keepers of knowledge

The Book Page

Have you seen the book page?

Link to the Book page
The Book Page is part of the World English Course

Share your thoughts...

Listening – Are you underpaid?

This video is a real news story about a large corporation exploiting workers. These is no transcript so you have to listen. Maybe you will not understand one hundred per cent. No problem. Improving listening comprehension skills takes time. Be patient. Listen again and again. If you have problems or questions write them in the comments section below.

Are you underpaid?
Does your employer threaten you?

Tel us about it in the comments section below.

Have you seen the work page?

Share your thoughts...

Sugar Sugar

This song is about sugar and honey and love.

Basically it is a metaphor for the sweetness of love. Candy, sugar and honey are all sweet things and love is sweet too.


Is love always sweet?
Is love sometimes bitter-sweet?
Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

At the beginning of our study of English we learn that some verbs do not appear in present continuous tense, for example, like, want and love.

Languages Change

The MacDonalds’ advertisement slogan “I am loving in” has actually changed the way we use the word “love”. We used to use it in present simple but now it is used in present continuous as well.

In the song “Sugar Sugar” we also hear:

“You are my candy girl and you got me wanting you.”

Note how the singer transfers his desire (wanting) to the object of his desire (candy girl) when he says:

“You got me wanting you.”

Have you seen the Love page in World English Course?

Share your thoughts...

How do you say “hello” in your language?

You say “yes”

I say “no”

You say “come”

I say “go”

Oh no!

You say “goodbye”

I say “hello”

hello hello

I say “high”

you say “low”

you say “why”

I say “I don’t know”

Being Contrary

If one person disagrees all the time we say: “That person is contrary”

A contrary person is a person who likes to disagree. Have you ever met a person who is really contrary?

Tell us about it in the comments section.

Share your thoughts...

We Can Work It Out

Phrasal Verb

“to go on” is a phrasal verb which means “to continue”.

“To work something out” is a phrasal verb. When the Beatles sing “we can work it out”, they mean: “We can solve any problem.

Point of View – Perspective

“Try to see it my way” means “Try to see it from my point of view”.

Life is very short

There is no time for fussing and fighting.
Do you agree?


“Only time will tell” means “we will know after some time”.

Will the war in Syria end? Only time will tell. What do you think?

Share your thoughts...

Time Goes by So Slowly

These phrases are the same:

Time goes by.
Time passes.

Does time pass slowly or quickly for you? Is there a reason for that? In this song the singer says “Time goes by so slowly” because he is missing his lover and waiting to see his lover again.

Does time pass slowly or quickly for you? Why is that?

Tell us about it in the comments section.

Have you seen the TIME PAGE

Share your thoughts...

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

The Definite Article

When we say “the first time”, “the second time”, “the third time” etc we always say “the”

“The” is the definite article. European languages like Spanish German and French have a definite article but they have two or three definite articles because they have gender. English has one definite article, “the”.

Asian languages like Japanese, Korean, Mongolian, Chinese, Thai, Indonesian and Cambodian have no definite article.


We usually use “ever” in a question like:

“Have you ever been to the sea?”

We also use it in a negative sentence like “I have not ever seen the sun set in the sea.” “Not ever” can contract into “never”:

I have never seen anybody like you.
I have never met anyone like you.
I have never seen anything like you.

We don’t usually use “ever” in a positive sentence except when we want to show emotional power for example in a song or a poem, like in the Roberta Flack song:

The first time ever I saw your face.

Do you like the song?
How does it make you feel?

Tell us how you feel in the comments section below.


Homophones are words which sound the same but have a different meaning. A rose is a flower but the word “rose” is also the past tense of the verb “rise”.

What time does the sun rise? Tell us in the comments section below. Where are you now> What time does the sun rise?

Listening to Songs to Learn English

Was this lesson helpful? Tell us what you thought in the comments section below.

Here are some links to more songs:

I have never seen anything like you.

Please pick up the telephone

Time after Time

How long do we have left?

Which way should we go?

I want to break Free

Can you see clearly?

How does she know that you love her?

Do you have a dream?

Man in Black

You are Beautiful.

What song are you listening to?

Share your thoughts...