Have you ever done a jigsaw puzzle?
Do you do 100 pieces or 50,000? That's the topic for this conversation.
Listen to Owain & Mike chatting about:
Mike & Owain enjoy a catch up in the week. Just like most people we tend to be busy during the week, so it's great to find a moment to relax and have a chat.
Listen to this conversation and try to identify:
Owain & Mike celebrate their 50th EW episode by talking about some of the worst yet most interesting words and phrases in any language. Find out what they think about expletives, swearing, cursing, four-letter words, uttering profanities, and even effing and blinding.
WARNING! If you are of a sensitive nature and may feel offended by the use of bad language in the English, please don't listen to this episode. Thank you!
It's Part 2 of the conversation with Jess. Join us as Owain and Jess continue catching up. This time they talk about politics, old TV programmes, old friends, bonfires; their children and bilingualism, homeschooling, and being an only child; as well as teaching during the pandemic.
Listen out for some of the observations Owain made about the features of this chat. If you've listened to Episode 45, you'll remember some contrasts between this 'catching up after many years' conversation and Owain and Mike's usual waffling. We also mentioned how Owain's speaking style was affected by a different conversational partner, for example, in the increased use of the filler 'like', which he doesn't usually say very often.
What else can you identify?
Grab a hot cup of something, curl up on the sofa, and listen to a cosy conversation about life.
From the English Waffle, we'd like to thank you for accompanying us on this year's journey and we hope you will come with us into 2021.
Stay safe and take of yourselves!
Owain & Mike
Owain chats to Jess, a friend of his from way back. They take a trip down memory lane talking about meeting in Madrid, travelling, old friends, and a care-free life. They also mention a couple of specific trips and, of course, the pandemic comes up at some point.
Listen to find out what they can remember!
Mike's back with an interview to kick off December. He talks to Paulina, the creator of Polski Daily, a podcast for learners of Polish. They talk about advice for language learners, Mike's attempt to learn Polish and the ideas behind the English Waffle project.
Polski Daily Podcast:
Owain & Mike get topical this time. We have noticed we're in the middle of a crisis so this time we're going deal with the issues. In this hard-hitting, no punches-pulled look at...Sorry! I can't carry on with that. We're going to talk about reactions to Coronavirus but not in the way you might expect. Listen to Mike's anecdote and my reaction to find out what this is all about.
Mike & Owain talk about idioms from the English language. Listen as they test each others' knowledge not only about what these phrases mean but also where they come from, their origins (listen for my terrible pronunciation of this word, but don't copy me!)
So, find out what 'bog standard' means and how we use it? Listen for the second idiom as well which includes the words 'push' and 'shove'. Have you heard them before? Are these expressions that you think you could use?
Mike and Owain talk about car boot sales. If you haven't heard of these, you should definitely listen to find out. If you have, listen to hear Owain tell us an exciting story about 'mixed messages' and to hear Mike demonstrate that he's a real cheapskate (meaning: a person who is unwilling to spend money).
There's also more about a new feature on The EW (English Waffle) website, which you can find here.
Owain and Mike do some catching up. After the summer break, there is plenty to talk about. They play a game where they have to guess the meaning of the words or phrases each of them have selected. The words or phrases are relevant to what they're doing now and their plans for the English Waffle. Listen to find out more!
The Waffle is back! No, not Waffle & Shakess in Leicester in the UK; not The Waffle - Irish League Podcast; not the Creative Waffle - Design & Illustration Podcast... (Mike! Couldn't we come up with a more original name?!)
It is the English Waffle, a podcast for you, advanced English language learners who want to improve your listening by tuning in to real conversations; sometimes between Mike and me (Owain), and sometimes with a guest interviewee.
We're back with the usual offering and something new. Listen to this short episode to find out what we've got in store for 2020/21.
Owain and Mike talk about idioms. They give some and examples and try to guess where the expressions come from. Listen to find out whether they know their history.
The guys also have some important news for regular listeners of the podcast!
Enjoy the episode!
Mike and Owain talk about the word 'foreigner'. Is it a positive or negative word? Do you consider yourself to be a foreigner? Is it good or bad to be a foreigner? Or is it all a load of cobblers?
And what's all this got to do with The English Waffle theme tune?!
These are all good questions. Listen and find out as we waffle on, starting off quite defensive, but then having a useful discussion about World Englishes, British English, and learning English in general.
Hope you enjoy it!
Mike talks to Alex Asher about Online language learning. They talk about what are the benefits of learning online versus going to a physical classroom, and some of the challenges that teachers/learners may find.
Mike and Owain discuss a topic suggested by a listener, Laura Camila, who lives in China. Laura wanted to hear our experiences of and views on going out with someone from another country. Both Wafflers have experiences to share although they're not sure how much they want to reveal.
Listen to find out about who Mike and Owain have dated and how it worked out or didn't as the case may be.
Our regular raconteurs, Owain & Mike, are back for a bit of lockdown loquacity. Find out what they've been doing while they've had to stay at home.
The conversation took place about 3 weeks ago, but is still highly relevant to our current situation, even though the rules in the UK have now changed for the better.
Mike talks to published author and TED Talk Speaker Tom Graham about his sustainable tourism project, Make a Difference. They talk a bit about Tom's inspiration behind the venture, what challenges lie ahead in the Covid-19 era, and an idea of how the Philippines might avoid getting left behind in the global future.
Here is Tom's TED talk, Genius of the Poor
And Make A Difference website https://madtravel.org/
Owain interviews his friend Mike MacDonald about music and how he's playing, listening and watching during these strange times. They talk a little bit about what life under lockdown is like for Mike and why it's not really affecting is ability to perform.
Find out how you can watch Mike and his friends play and listen to one of the tracks from his band's first album.
Mike and Owain are back to their waffling best with a short chat about baking. Listening to this exchange between two brilliant culinary minds will help you...
Hold on a minute! I hear you say. Yes, just joking. Just like everyone else at the moment, the guys are struggling to come up with things to do and have turned to baking as a means of connecting with family and students alike. Find out more and listen till the end for a brief analysis of the conversation!
Owain talks to his friend Lorenzo who is in Madrid. They discuss what it is like to be in a small flat with a family during this crisis and how they are dealing with lockdown (a state of isolation or restricted access instituted as a security measure).
The actual conversation is about 13 minutes long. At the end, there is extra help with some of the vocabulary used in the conversation.
We welcome back Thom to talk about learning languages. He talks to Mike about technology, immersion learning, living abroad, distance learning outside a classroom and their own personal language learning stories.
They talk about so many things in this rambling conversation, in fact, that they ask for your help at the end!
Mike talks to Desta Haile who is a professional musician, language teacher and founder of the language learning tool Languages Through Music.
Desta tells Mike how she came up with the idea of Languages Through Music and how it has been a source of joy and inspiration for her learning about languages and culture.
Have you ever listened to music and wondered what it is they are singing about? Next time you listen to a song, bear this in mind, the artist is communicating something to you behind those sounds, feelings, ideas, sadness, joy!
Mike is in Slovenia and is talking to his friend, Thom, about the pub. They talk about what the pub means to people in general, how pubs have changed over the years and what it's like to go as a non-drinking, relatively large bearded man.
Owain starts the discussion on how to use the Engish Waffle. He talks about who the podcast is aimed at and why it is different from other English learning resources. He starts to explain why the focus is on listening to real conversations and starts to give some examples to help clarify what this means and why it is important.
Owain's sister Laura is back, this time talking about her take on 'work-life balance' and her observations on how it works. We talk about what it means, her job, and how she manages to create some sort of balance between working and bringing up her family.
This is a special episode in which Mike talks to three guests who are visiting him in London. They talk about the sights and some of the things they have done during their stay.
Have you ever been to London? What do you think is iconic about this city? What represents it? Think about it for a moment before you listen to some more English Waffle!
This is a guest episode with Owain's sister, Laura, who's visiting from abroad. We discuss insects and diseases, enthusiasm and cynicism, and the difference between workplaces in the US and the UK.
We also briefly discuss her plans for the future.
Your usual conversationalists are back this week - that's Mike and me - and we're talking about the bizarre world of Brits and their pets. Mike gives us some interesting, and in some cases, terrifying facts about Brits' love affair with animals. Be prepared for some PETrifying statistics.
Owain's back this week with another guest. It's John the Joiner who's talking about his passion for travelling by train. Find out where he's been on the train and why he doesn't just jump on a plane when he wants to go somewhere on holiday.
In the first episode of 2020, Mike & Owain talk about resolutions, talking to strangers, and learning a new language. They also offer some suggestions on how to use the podcast. We hope this will be useful for regular listeners and newcomers who are interested in making the most of their listening practice.
Mike's with two members of his family for this episode and they talk about gymnastics, acting on stage, and someone's passion for football. Find out who they are in our final conversation of 2019.
Mike & Owain catch up with each other this time to talk about what they like about Christmas. They talk about crackers, presents and Santa, before wishing us all a Merry Christmas!
He's back! Our very own martial arts expert, Doug 'pressure point' Wilson, is talking to Owain about why he got into Ju Jitsu and how it is learnt. Does it have anything in common with learning a language? Find out in Part 2 of this interview. (See: https://www.leicesterjujitsu.co.uk/)
We have a new guest! Owain interviews his brother Doug about the 'original martial art', Ju Jitsu. Techniques, motivation, and the spirit of the art are discussed and Owain gets more than he bargained for as Doug demonstrates his knowledge of human anatomy. (See: www.leicesterjujitsu.co.uk/)
Owain and Mike waffle on in this episode about the news, footballers, and what you might find down the toilet bowl.
Jay talks to Mike again and reveals some more interesting things about Indian English!
Mike's friend Jay explains why English should really be called...Indian?!
Owain reveals his confusion over mealtimes and Mike tries to remember when he had tea as a child.
Mike talks to his friends Sam and Julie about leadership qualities.
Every word or phrase has a story behind it, place names in particular. Enjoy listening to Owain & Mike talking about the interesting place names they've come across, but don't expect to learn too much about where they come from or any particularly useful information!
How bad is a banana? Well, we're not going to be able to help you answer that one, but you will find out how green Mike and Owain are as they discuss, among other things, their results on the WWF carbon footprint calculator which you can find here: https://footprint.wwf.org.uk/#/
Another chat from Leicester where the guys provide a perfect analysis of the perfidiousness of perfectionsim, especially when it comes to learning languages.
Owain and Mike record from the Leicestershire countryside and discuss green fingers, therapy, dogs and dating.
You know those things that get on your nerves a little bit more than they should? Well, that's what this episode is about.
In this episode, we discuss different attitudes towards body hair. And Mike tells a story about meeting a hairy pair of legs on the train to work.
Mike and Owain kick off with Two truths and a lie. Listen and get to know English Waffle's conversationalists.
All the materials on these pages are free for you to download and copy for educational use only. You may not redistribute, sell or place these materials on any other website without written permission from Mike or Owain. If you have any questions about the use of these materials please email us at:
Take part in this 2 min survey and help us improve the Podcast.
We will pick at random one listener to give a free 1:1 listen.