ielts speaking test

IELTS speaking test video link – see Vicki as a candidate

We don’t have a new video for you today, but we’ll be publishing a new video next Friday.

In the meantime, check out this link to a video made by a friend of ours, where Vicki takes on the role of a candidate in an IELTS speaking test.

Keith has a great website for student’s who are preparing for the IELTS speaking test which you can find here:

And here’s the video he made with Vicki as a the candidate:


english publishing vocabulary

Publishing plans and a new (temporary) schedule

Learn about our publishing plans and our new (temporary) schedule for YouTube English lesson uploads.

We’re excited to announce that we plan to self-publish an e-book for English learners. The writing has started and we’re experimenting with tools we can use to make it available on smartphones, tablets and computers.

To allow time for writing we will be publishing videos every other week. So we’re continuing with our plans to make new YouTube videos, but for a while we’ll be publishing a new video every other Friday instead of every Friday.

We really appreciate all the support and love we receive from our viewers and hope you will keep watching and learning from our videos. We have hundreds of videos on our channels and we hope you’ll explore them.

Some of the English publishing vocabulary that comes up in this video includes:

English publishing vocabulary

When Vicki gets an idea she has to write it down right away.
Hello everyone. I’m Jay.
And I’m Vicki and we’re talking about publishing this week.
And we have an important announcement!
You probably don’t know this but Vicki used to write text books for people who are learning English.
A lot of the books I wrote are very old now.
Which was your first book.
This one. It was published in 1982.
That was long before we had digital publishing.
Books were all made of paper back then. And there was no internet and no Amazon website.
We didn’t have computers in our homes either, so how did you write it?
In long hand. So just writing with a pen and paper.
Didn’t you type it?
Only when I’d finished. I didn’t have a typewriter so I borrowed one to type the manuscript.
The manuscript is the document.
It’s a book before it’s been printed.
And how did you publish it?
Well, I didn’t publish it. I wrote to a publisher and said I’ve got an idea for a book and I sent them a sample.
And they liked it?
No! They said we’re not interested in your idea but they liked my sample and they said we want a book on different topic. Can you write it?
So you got a commission.
Yeah. A commission is when an author gets a request to write a book and they get paid.
And they paid you royalties?
Yes, every time they sold a copy, I got a percentage.
How much?
Not much. I can’t remember. Perhaps 10%? And we didn’t have email back then, so I had to post the manuscript to them.
You sent it by mail?
Yeah, it was a big pile of papers and I went to a shop and made a copy.
Luckily photocopiers had been invented.
And when I had to make changes, I literally cut and pasted the manuscript.
You know how on a computer we have the commands copy and paste. Well, they come from the time when we did it by hand.
But the publishing industry was pretty quick to adopt computers.
So what was the first book you wrote on a computer.
I don’t know. Let’s have a look. Perhaps this one! Hang on. I’ll tell you the date. 1991. I had an Apple Mac and it was great because I could save the manuscript on a disk. It fitted in an envelope so I could post it to my publishers and I didn’t have to spend hours in the photocopy shop. And then email came along a few years later, and also video. I wrote some video courses.
Not YouTube videos because YouTube didn’t exist back then.
No. But I wrote a lot of English courses for Oxford University Press and they used to have a video department.
They published the videos on cassettes like these.
Yeah, and then later DVDS. Videos were very expensive to make back then. We had lots of actors and a big crew. So different people for cameras, sound, lighting ….
One of the reasons we can make videos for YouTube now is because the cost of video equipment has come down.
Yeah, and we’re the crew. You’re my crew!
Cost isn’t a big problem.
Finding the time is our problem.

Publishing Plans

And that brings us to our announcement. Vicki wants to write another book.
This time I want to write an e-book that we’ll publish ourselves – so I’m going to try self-publishing this time.
This project is different to our normal YouTube videos.
The great thing about a book is it can be more structured and organized. So we can design it to help you progress.
We want to make an even more powerful learning tool for everyone who likes Simple English Videos.
It’s a very exciting project but there’s one big problem. I need time to write.
And we want to go on vacation this summer, so time is short.
If only there were 30 hours in a day ….
So we’ve been looking at Vicki’s schedule and looking for ways to make more time.
It’s hard because we want to keep making YouTube videos too.
We feel like we’ve gotten to know many of you and we’ve made a lot of new friends here and lots of you have told us you look forward to our videos every week.
And we really appreciate all your encouragement and support. It’s very inspiring for us and you give me lots of ideas.
Did you go back to sleep?
No, but we do need to make time so here’s the thing. We’re going to make a new video every two weeks instead of every week.
That way we can stay in touch with you AND I’ll have time to write.
And we can carry on making videos. There are lots we want to make.
Yeah. I have a big list.
So that’s our plan. We’re going to publish a new video every other week.
And in between, we hope you’ll watch some of our other videos.
There are hundreds of videos on our channel so you probably haven’t seen them all.
You have no excuse to stop watching and learning!
And then in not too many months Vicki’s new book will be available online as an e-book.
I’ve already started work on it and we’re experimenting together with tools we can use because we want you to able to use it on your computer, tablet or smart phone.
So we’re not going anywhere. We’re working on a great project, and we’ll be making a new video every other week.
So make sure you’ve subscribed to our channel and clicked the notification bell so you don’t miss them.
Does that bell work? Because some viewers have said they haven’t been getting notifications.
YouTube has been making improvements to their notification system. They say it’s better now but it works best if you allow them to send messages to your phone.
So click that notification bell and please share our videos with your friends. Bye-bye now.

SEVY speaking challenge awards with Vicki and Jay

The SEVY Awards 2019 with Vicki and Jay

Vicki and Jay are very proud to welcome you to the 2019 SEVY (Simple English Videos, Yay!) Award Ceremony, where you’ll meet students from many different countries who are learning English.

Speaking in English is a challenge. You’re bound to think, ‘Am I making mistakes?’ or ‘Am I saying this right?’ Now imagine you’re not just talking to one or two people, but you’re talking to the world!

A few weeks ago we set our viewers a challenge. We asked them to record a video where they’re speaking in English and we’ve been blown away by the response.

So now we’re very proud to share their work and introduce you to some of the wonderful people who watch our channel, and to learn about why they’re learning English and their goals.

Click here to see some hang out videos with Vicki and Jay.
Click here to see some more Simple English Videos.

The SEVY Awards 2019

We’re very proud to welcome you to the 2019, SEVY award ceremony.
Speaking in English is a challenge. You’re bound to think, ‘Am I making mistakes?’ or ‘Am I saying this right?’
Now imagine you’re not just talking to one or two people, but you’re talking to the world!
A few weeks ago we set our viewers a challenge. We asked them to record a video where they’re speaking, that we would share with the world.
And we’ve been blown away by the response.
And today we’re very proud to share their work and introduce you to some of the wonderful people who watch our channel.
And to learn about why they’re learning English and their goals.
Congratulations to everyone who took part! You are all winners of the Simple English Videos award for rising to this challenge.
It’s the Simple English Videos ‘Yay! You did it’ award.
Otherwise known as the SEVY.
So now it’s time to see what they said.

Hi Vicki and hi Jay, and hi everyone. My name is Wan. My name is Rian. We are English teachers from Palang Singkawang, Indonesia. I learn English because I want to study in the UK. And I learn English because I want to study in Australia. Thank you. Bye.

Well I reckon they should win the SEVY for wonderful positive energy.
And for team work. They were well rehearsed.
They must be great teachers.

My name is Mehli Khusnaliana and I’m a student. I’m Indonesian and I’m Muslim. OK. I like… I like the English language. Ok, Thank you. Simple English Videos! Yes!

I think she’s adorable.
And I think she should get the SEVY for enthusiasm.
And maybe the best giggle.

Hi there. I’m Alex and I’m from Russia. I’m studying English for several years because I need it for my work and also I want to pass an IELTS exam this year because I want to move to some warm country, um, for example, to Canada. Wait, what? Canada is not a warm country? So anyway, I’ll pick something else.

OK, he’s got to win the SEVY for the best joke.
If you can crack a joke in another language, you’re doing very well!

Hello, I’m from India. My name is Siddhant and English is my favorite subject. Love from India.

Love to you in India too, Siddhant!
That was short, sweet and very clear.
He could also get a SEVY for the cheeky grin. I was looking for something that would help me teach the phrase cheeky grin the other day. I wish I’d had this video then.

Hello Vicki and Jay. My name is Dan. And my name is Ann. We live in Russia in Novosibirsk. We are both lawyers. I am learning English because I want to watch films in English. And I’m learning English because I want to read in English. Goodbye. Bye.

Those were great goals.
They are great goals. And did you see the book she was reading?
It was Sherlock Holmes, my favorite detective!
I think you get the reading prize. And actually that is a great book for everyone to read.

Hi! My name’s Milena. I’m 15 years old. I’m from Brazil and I live in Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul. Next year, I finish my high school and after I want to study English in the USA. Thank you. Bye-bye.

She gets the SEVY for confidence. And I also want to give a shout out to her mum, Mariza, who also tried to make a video for us. And Mariza has gone back to university after 28 years and she’s studying to be an English teacher.
We have both gone back to university in our later years and we know what a commitment that is so good luck to you Mariza.

Hi everyone. I’m Abdurrahman Dala. I’m from Nigeria. I’m a teacher. I teach English. I’m a fan of a British accent. I love the accent. I love it. I love to pronounce words like you do, Vicki. Thank you. Bye-bye.

He gets the SEVY for best costume and best smile.
And I like the way he walked into the shot.
I liked his taste in accents. I loved your accent too.

Hi Vicki. Hi Jay. My name’s Derya. I’m from Turkey. I’m thirty four years old. I’m not working. I’m a housewife. I have three children – two daughters, one son. And my English goal is speaking like a native English person. I love speaking so much. And that’s all. I love you. Thanks for your videos.

She gets the SEVY for perseverance
Yes. This is because Derya had difficulties send us the video, and when I spoke to her, she said she’d recorded it about 50 times before she was able to make something that she felt she could send us. Well done Derya, it was great.

Hi Vicki and Jay. I’m Dicky and I’m from Bogor, Indonesia. I’m a student and I’m studying English. My English goals are to chat with my friend in English and to teach my friend who can’t speak English. Thank you. Bye-bye.

Well done!
Yeah. He must get the ‘Friendly’ SEVY because he’s learning to chat with friends, but also he’s going to help his friend learn English! Well done Dicky!

Hey, I am Kaei from the Czech Republic. I am a charity volunteer here, and English is my passion. Thank you so much for your videos.

Kaei, we’re so glad you like our videos.
And you get the SEVY for giving back to the community with your charity work.

Hi, my name is Ashish. I am from India. I was working in Samsung Electronics as a promoter. I want to learn English so I can feel confident when I am speaking with my customers and colleagues.

Ashish, you get the repeat performance SEVY.
Ashish was in our video last year and it’s great to see you back, Ashish. And we’re sorry to hear you’ve been ill and we wish you better soon and it’s great to see you’re still supporting England.

Hello Vicki and Jay. My name is Melany and I’m from Colombia. Now I live in New York and I am an English student. I have lived here for a short time and your videos have helped me a lot to learn more and improve my English. And thank you very much. I love your videos.

Wow! Melany. I grew up in New York and I know how difficult it can be in that great big city to find your way, especially when English is not your first language. Good for you.
You get the ‘Traveller SEVY’.

Hello Jay and Vicki. I’m Martin. I live in a small European country named Slovakia, and I’m a graphic design student. My goals in terms of learning English is to improve myself in fluency and vocabulary, and I’ve been to England once, however, I really would fancy to go there again.

Martin, that was really interesting. I could hear a British accent in your Slovakian accent.
Your pronunciation was great. You get the SEVY for that.
He’s in school, right?
Yes, but he’s studying graphic design.
Oh, not English.
Yeah. Really good Martin.

Hello, I am Meg, and this is my brother. We are Georgians. Now I study icon painting and I learn… study English because I love learning languages so much. And I love you so much Vicki and Jay.

I think I saw an icon painting behind her. And Meg, you have to get the SEVY for the best big sister.
And the youngest SEVY award goes to your brother.

Hi. My name is Arthur. I’m from Brazil and I learn English after being one year in New Zealand in 2015, and my goal is to be able to communicate with people all around the world and to understand them properly. And that’s all! Thank you very much, and your channel has been very helpful. I just love your tips. Thank you.

Thank you Arthur. That was a great compliment. By the way, you spoke very clearly.
Yes, your pronunciation was good, but I’m tempted to give you the SEVY instead for set design.
Did you see all the posters behind him?
Yes, apparently he’s studying for an exam. Good luck in your exam.

Hi Vicki and Jay. I am very honored for being seen by you and I’m a little bit nervous. OK, I’m Michelle and I’m from China. I’m a pharmacist working in the hospital. I learn English just for fun and interest. I love watching YouTube videos from English teachers like you. I hope that some day I could speak fluently and confidently with native English speakers, or maybe some day I could participate in some jobs that involve English. That’s all. Hope you like my video! Bye-bye.

That was really very fluent. Thank you Michelle.
Do you know that that was the first time she’d spoken English in public!
Yeah. And she was nervous about it. Michelle you get the prize for courage. You did really well!

Hello Jay and hello Vicki. I’m Wesley. I’m from Sao Paolo, Brazil. I’m a biology student at the last year and I want to improve my English and teach my girlfriend too. I love England and Scotland. I support Liverpool. And I love you both. Bye.

Bye-bye. He’s supporting Liverpool.
Wesley, you get the SEVY for being the best boyfriend, because he’s helping his girlfriend learn English too.
Good for you!

Hello, I’m Olga. I’m Russian. I used to work in finance but these days I stay at home. I take some time out to take care of my little one. And it’s a great time for me to dive into learning English. I learn English mainly for fun but I also have a dream to become an English teacher someday, and I also hope to go to England and to the United States some day again. Thank you for your wonderful lessons and for this challenge. Bye-bye.

We heard the little one there.
Olga, you get the SEVY for vocabulary because we heard lots of great phrases there like time out, little one, dive into. Good job!
Excellent, thank you.

Hi Vicki and Jay. I’m Eduardo from Catamarca, a northern province of Argentina. Well, I’m studying English at University and my big goal is to get my degree as an English teacher. I hope to get it in a couple of years. Well, thank you so much for your work. You are doing a really great job. Thank you so much, and see ya.

Another great compliment. Thank you very much. I think he gets the SEVY for being warm and friendly.
I know. I would love to have you as my teacher. I think you’re going to be great.

Hello. This is Gala from Russia. I started learning English when I was already 46, from scratch. It was 7 years ago. I was told it was too late, but look at me now. I can speak and in a month help others. I am an aspiring pronunciation tutor for beginners. From my experience, you can communicate successfully even if your English is just basic. Sincerity and simplicity always work. And thank you Vicki and Jay. I learn from you.

Galina, you get the inspiration SEVY – the award for inspiring us all.
Yes, I’ve had lots of students who have asked me ‘Am I too old to learn a language?’ and you are a wonderful example of how you’re never to old. And I also think that your advice about being sincere and keeping things simple is very valuable too.
Thank you.
And bravo! Good job!

Hello. My name is Tahir Shafiq. I am from Pakistan. I live in Lahore which is the second most populous city in Pakistan. It’s famous for its ancient buildings and gardens. I run my own provisioning store which includes a variety of items like soaps, detergents, grocery items, beverages, etc. I have 3 objectives for learning English. Firstly, I can use my writing skills with correspondence with my suppliers. Secondly, I can use my listening skills while watching movies because I love watching movies. Lastly, I can use English when I visit other countries for tours. I love tourism. OK. Take care, Bye.

Tahir, that was so well organized.
Yes, in fact you win the SEVY for structure, because all your thoughts were clearly laid out and it meant you could convey a lot of information in a short time, and that’s an excellent skill, and a very good business skill too.
Thank you very much.
Great job!

Hello Vicki, hello Jay, hello everyone. My name is Quynh. I’m 13 years old and I’m from Vietnam. Today I am really happy to share with you my English goal. My goal is to reach a higher level of English fluency which is advanced. This includes my grammar and my vocabulary. As you see, my grammar is not so good. I always make a mistake when I’m talking. And my vocabulary is not enough to cover all of my thoughts. The only thing for me to do to reach my goal is to study more and do more exercises in English. Also, watching Simple English Videos is a good way for me to expand my vocabulary and to know more rules about grammar. Thank you so much for listening.

Well thank you for submitting that video. It was very impressive. In fact I think she gets the SEVY for being impressive.
She is, isn’t she! Fantastic job, Quyn! I mean your grammar was great, your fluency was great, your pronunciation was great. Impressive is the word, and she’s only 13!

Hi Vicki and Jay. Zdraveite! Hola! My name is Galina, and I am from Bulgaria but I’m currently in Spain. I have diverse work experience, in many fields of life. Actually, I would be glad if I can work for you guys. If you think that I can contribute in any way to Simple English Videos, I’ll be glad to help. What I want to achieve in English is to gain more self confidence, because I still freeze whenever I meet a native speaker and have to speak to him or her, no matter the topic. Well, that’s for now. Thanks for listening and watching. See you, I mean I will see you. Adios, ciao.

Well you didn’t freeze there. That was just terrific!
It was fantastic. Well done Galina! I.. yeah, what do you want to give this SEVY for?
For the best location shoot!
Because you saw the Spanish beach! I’d like to give a SEVY as well for being most helpful! We wish we could give you a job. Wow! We’ve got to work out a way to earn money Jay.

Hi Vicki and Jay. I love your channel so much. My name is Nick and I’m living in South Korea. I’m a business …. who works for a Korean commercial company. I first started learning English for practical purposes, such as joining the meeting without a translator, and getting a global career in the future. But nowadays, it became one of my pleasures in daily life. I hope that I will be able to lead meetings with international co-workers at the end of this year. I’m so excited because I can go on this journey with you guys. Let me finish the video with a sentence that I read nowadays like a mantra. The repetition of a little tiny effort will make me stronger.

The repetition of a little tiny effort makes me stronger. That’s the best mantra we’ve heard today.
It’s a very good mantra for language learning as well. Because there’s nothing very difficult about learning English if you break it down into small steps and keep repeating them.
I also liked his story. How he started learning English for his work, and then it became a pleasure in his life. Yes.
So he gets the SEVY for …
Best mantra. Well done Nick.

Hello Vicki, hello Jay. My name is Maja Terese. I’m 15 years old. I’m from Norway. I’m in my last year of secondary school and next year I’m moving on to high school, where I’m going to go the specialized studies and general line. I like the English language and I’ve learned it for 10 years now, ever since first grade. And I wish to study it and get better at it in university. When I grow up I want to become a teacher – an English teacher. I enjoy talking English. I do it all the time. And I write English with my friends. My English goal for the year is to improve my pronunciation. I always pronounce words wrongly, I feel. And I also need to settle on whether I want to speak American English or British English which I both wish to do. That was my English goal and a bit about me and I’m sorry this video is long. Goodbye.

We’re still deciding which accents to use as well!
I recommend the American accent!
By the way, you didn’t mispronounce any words in that video. It was really good. There must be a very high standard of English in Norway.
I know and you were very fluent too, and she’s only 15.
Spectacular. Thank you so much for the video.
I think you should get the SEVY for fluency.

Hi, my name is Miriam Keller. I’m from Sao Paulo, Brazil. I live in Sao Paulo. I’m a retired secretary but I still work because I have to, and English is my working tool. So, I’m always… I’m always trying to find interesting things, review things, learn more, and so on. And your videos are fantastic. I always recommend them to friends and colleagues. And I always… I always try to watch them. Well, I’m retired, but as I say, I like very much languages, and I like very much to read, and go to the movies, and so on, listen to music. So, English is very important to me. Thank you very much. Bye-bye.

Miriam I know exactly what you mean about having to go back to work after you’re retired.
Yes, but you know you’re a wonderful example for us all, because you’re finding things that you like, like movies and reading, and making English fun. So I feel like Miriam should have another inspiration SEVY.
Excellent. Thank you Miriam.

I am 12 years old and I am studying in the seventh grade. About myself I can say that I am a fun, clever, industrious and friendly girl. I want to speak fluently in English – from my native language, Ukrainian. I like to draw. I have a sister. Her name is Sasha. She is studying in the pedagogical college. In the future she will be an interpreter or English teacher. She is a friendly, compassionate and clever girl. I love my sister but sometimes she takes away our notebook and it is bad because I can’t watch English cartoons! By the way, Vicki and Jay, we use your lessons in our English lessons. We like your videos and you’re like real actors. Thanks for your work.

I think we’ll have to talk to your older sister about taking away your notebook computer.
Bohdan. you get the SEVY for having a great attitude. You’re going for it. You’re using what you’ve learnt and trying it out and it’s great to see. Keep it up.
I have to say your personality came right through in that video. Thank you very much.

Hi Vicki and Jay. This is Marcelo. I always enjoy watching your videos.
I learn a lot and I have fun at the same time. And, well, I’m from Chile. I’m…I’m not a student, yeah, I’m not a student. I’m working nowadays redacting (drafting) some reports for a company. And my English goal basically is to have fun and, perhaps, English will help me in a moment for this job or another one. I don’t know. I have to say that I lived in Australia when I was a child, but I have been studying English since some years ago. But…and I’m trying to take my English back, right? So, I guess that that is another of my main goals. OK, well those were your questions. Thank you very much for this great opportunity to talk to you guys. You are really lovely. I always watch every single episode from you both. Ok thank you very much. Bye-bye.

Thank you Marcelo. You are certainly doing a good job getting your English back.
Indeed. One of the things that struck me was how clear your speech was. In fact that’s your SEVY – clarity. And then you mentioned that you’d been in Australia when you were a child, and I thought, oh that’s why. But that’s going to be a great help for listening as you’re learning English.
Thanks Marcelo, great video.
Now before we carry on I just want to mention that for some people, this challenge was extra difficult because for religious reasons or for other personal reasons they didn’t want to appear on camera. But they found a way round it and we’re going to watch some of these videos now.

Hi Vicki and Jay. I’m Farshid and I’m Iranian. I am a student of architecture. I hope to learn English in order to have better communication with people around the world.

I want to give you the linguist SEVY, Farshid.
Because of the certificate on his book shelf. Did you see?
What did it say?
Pahlavi. It was a language – an ancient Persian language.
And it’s now extinct?
Yes. But although he’s studying architecture, he’s obviously a linguist too.

Hello there Vicki and Jay! This is Steffi and I’m sending you a thousand warm hugs from Erfurt, which is right in the middle of Germany. And with this small video I want to send you a few pictures of where I love to live. Reading my comments you may have noticed that I am quite a chatterbox, and I love to connect with people from all around the world to learn more about their country and their culture and my bucket list is incredibly full with all the spots I want to travel to and that’s why I want to speak proper and fluent English. Congratulations for over 100,000 subscribers Vicki and Jay and thank you so much for being the most creative and astounding English teachers I’ve ever met. Simple English Videos Yay! And this is my hamster, Carla.

Very good Steffi, and it was a pleasure meeting Carla, too.
Steffi sounded exactly as I expected. If you look at the comments at Simple English Videos you’ll see that Steffi is often there contributing and it’s really nice that you’re a chatterbox Steffi. We appreciate it.
So what’s her SEVY.
OK. Ahhh, I don’t know, what can we give her the SEVY for?
For the cutest pet!
I’ll tell you what though. I’d like to give her an intonation SEVY, because her pronunciation was superb.

Hello. Good day to you. My name is Sarah, and I am from Germany. I’ve been studying English for a year teaching most things to myself. English is for me not only a language. For me it is what makes me – me. I love England and English more than anything really. And my goals are to live in England when I’m grown up. I’m a student and I see myself working in connection to the English language. In December, this year, I’ll be passing the exam for the language level ‘C-1’ hopefully. And after this I’d like to continue with the next and final level.

Sarah, if I didn’t know you’re from Germany, I’d have assumed you’re from London because your accent is so good!
For someone who’s self taught, it’s amazing and you get the pronunciation SEVY.
Really good. Thank you very much.
And good luck with your exam. I think you’re going to do really well.

To be or not to be photogenic, that is the question. In the age of selfies I’m afraid I’m not. That’s why I chose a picture of my parent’s kissing before my nickname “Maninima” which is how I call my mom. Yet, when you invited your followers to send a video, I thought I could take this chance to thank you, Vicki and Jay, and other teachers on YouTube. By the way, my name is Simone. I’m Italian, and I fell in love with English when my dad made me listen to his favorite music, spirituals, jazz, Gershwin, and I discovered the Beatles. I began singing those songs and I found I could express my feelings better if I didn’t use my mother tongue. Maybe because I was very shy. I started at university to learn the language more deeply. But soon I had to give up for a series of troubles. My dad got cancer. My vocal cords developed a rare disease. A guy molested me. A car accident ruined my spine, just to name a few. So, thanks a lot Vicki and Jay, Aly from “Papa Teach Me”, Tom from “Eat, Sleep, Dream English”, “Love English” with Leila and Sabrah, and many more for keeping my mind working and for making me smile with your sense of humor and kindness. Love you all.

Thank you Simone. That took a lot of courage and we really appreciate it.
And I appreciated your sharing too, and sharing the names of other great YouTube channels, so more people can find them.
By the way, you had us at Gershwin and the Beatles. We love them. Thanks again Simone.
Congratulations to everyone who took part in this challenge.
You were all amazing.
We can’t thank you enough for sharing your life and goals with us.
We loved meeting you and it’s been very motivating for us.
Yes, we need to make some more videos now.
If you’ve enjoyed this video, please share it with a friend.
And don’t forget to subscribe to our channel.
See you next week everyone. Bye-bye.
Click here to see some hang out videos with Vicki and Jay.
Click here to see some more Simple English Videos.

Your English Goals – Speaking Challenge 2019

Your English Goals – Speaking Challenge 2019

This is your invitation to practice speaking English with us and appear in one of our videos!
Make a short video where you’re speaking in English, and we’ll share it with the world.
Here’s how it works:
1. You make a short video of yourself speaking – just a few sentences. Tell us who you are and your English goals.
2. You send the video to us, or send us a link where we can download it.
3. We put your videos into one longer video that we publish on our channel.


Keep your video short – just a few sentences is fine. Tell us:
1. Who you are
For example: Where are you from? Are you a student? What are you studying? Or are you working? What’s your job?
2. Your English goals:
For example: Do you have an exam you want to pass or a job where you need English? Or maybe you’re planning to travel somewhere or perhaps you’re learning English for fun?
If you have a YouTube channel, post your video there as unlisted or public (not private) and send us the link. The deadline is Monday March 24th, 2019.
Please check the video for Vicki’s email address or use the contact form on this website.

Click here to see last year’s SEVY awards video.

Practice speaking in English with us

Hi! In today’s video we want to set you a speaking challenge!
Will you come and practice speaking English with us?
Last year we set our viewers a challenge. We asked them to send us a video of themselves speaking English.
We were thrilled when 13 people responded.
It was wonderful.
We met people from all over the world, doing lots of different things.
We loved it because it helped us to get to know you a little better. So we want to do it again!
It’s not easy to find ways to practice speaking in English. This is your chance!
We want you to make a very short video where you’re speaking in English, that we’re going to share with the world.
We’ll put your videos together in one video that we’ll share on our channel.
So are you up to a challenge? Here’s what we want you to do. Make a short video – just a few sentences, telling us where you’re from, what you do and something you want to be able to do in English.
We’re really excited to know more about you.
Are you students? What are you studying?
Or are you working? What’s your job?
And what are your English goals? Do you have an exam you want to pass or a job where you need English?
Or maybe you just want to chat with friends in English and you’re learning for fun?
So that’s your challenge. Tell us who you are and what your English goals are.
And video it!
It means you’ll get speaking practice and we’ll all get to know one another better.
Have we got any examples we can show everyone?
Yes. At the end of this video, I’ll put a link so you can see the videos we received last year.
Great – And if you do a good job you’ll get a SEVY award!
So what is a SEVY?
This is our version of the Oscars. It’s an award for students who rise to the speaking challenge.
The videos we received last year were so good that we created this prize! The SEVY!
SEVY stands for Simple English videos YES!
Or Simple English videos YAY!

Tips for making a video of yourself speaking

Do we have some tips for filming?
Yes. First one – keep it short and simple. Just a few sentences is fine.
And feel free to share photos if you want, but if anyone else appears in your pictures, make sure it’s OK with them first.
Yes. Because we’re going to be putting your videos on YouTube for the world to see. Oh and this is very important – no music, please. We need to make sure we’ve paid for any music we use.
Now make sure the camera is horizontal when you shoot it and not vertical
Yes, it should be landscape not portrait. And that’s it!
So your task is to tell us where you’re from, what you do and why you’re learning English – in other words, your English goals.
Are you ready for your deadline? It’s Monday March 24th.
That’s not long. Just ten days. So get your cameras out and get busy!
OK, the last thing – how to send their videos to us.
The best way to do it is to upload it to YouTube and send us the link.
You need to publish this as public or unlisted. This is important. Don’t keep it private, or we can’t see it.
Yes, and send the link to this address.
That’s me! I can’t wait to see what you send us. This is very exciting.
And if you do a good job, you might win a SEVY!
If you have any problems sending us links to your videos, or if you don’t have a YouTube channel, email me.
And now we want to show you another award.
Oh yes, this is very cool.
We’ve received a button from YouTube for having 100,000 subscribers.
Thank you everyone for clicking that subscribe button. This is the result. It’s very pretty.
Where are we going to put it?
We can hang it on the wall – see – there’s a hole here.
My office, above my exercise equipment.
I thought it could go in my office.
We need to have a private conversation about this.
My office!
See you all next week everyone. Bye-bye.
Click here to see last year’s SEVY awards video.

english comedy skits

2018 memories – our favourite English comedy skits.

We love English comedy skits and sketches at Simple English Videos! They mean you can see English in action, and help us to make learning English fun.

It’s really motivating when you can get a joke in English and they can make new English words and phrases more memorable too.

So in this video Vicki and Jay are looking back and sharing their 2018 memories. They’ll show you their favourite English skits and sketches and tell you a little more about them as they go.

We’re publishing this video as a premiere, so if you’re watched at 3 pm New York Time on December 28th, Jay and Vicki were both in the chat on YouTube and able chat in English!

Click here to see our 2017 and 2016 review videos.

Hello, hello. Is anybody there yet?
I don’t know. Do you think they’re here?
Ooo. Hello everyone.
There you are. Thanks for coming.
Welcome to our 2018 Year Review video.
This is our premiere video, right?
That’s right. So if you’re watching in the premiere, then you’ll find Jay and I chatting in the chat. And you can chat with us.
Right. We’ll be able to type to you live through the keyboard.
So we’re going to show you clips from videos we’ve made this year and talk a little about them.
Where do you want to start?
Perhaps with one of my favourites?
This one’s a long one and I wrote it for a sketch writing class that I was taking.
This was one where I had a lot of fun and as you might remember, it’s about differences between British and American English.
Well, it’s a lovely conference hotel, isn’t it?
Yes, isn’t it great?
I hope Jay hasn’t overslept again. We never hear the alarms on our phones.
No, he’s up. I saw him at breakfast.
Oh good.
Ah Jay. You’re late.
Sorry. I thought this meeting was on the first floor.
Well, this is the second floor.
No, it isn’t.
Never mind. Have you got the artwork, Jay, for our presentation?
Yes, it was quite a challenge. I couldn’t find all the images you wanted so I had to take the photos myself.
Oh cheers, Jay.
Yeah, cheers.
Ah. Cheers. Cheers.
Show us the pictures.
Sure. Here’s the first one.
I don’t understand.
Yeah. Which picture is this?
Hmmm. Man delivering the post.
This isn’t what we had in mind.
Where are the letters?
You didn’t say anything about letters.
But we wanted a postman.
Let’s move on. Jay, show us the next one.
OK. Well this photo was very hard to take.
I don’t get it.
Me neither.
Well, you said you wanted a suitcase in a boot. Now I couldn’t find a boot big enough for a whole suitcase but I did my best.
Are you taking the mickey?
The mi… What do you mean?
We need to see a suitcase in the back of a car.
Well then why didn’t you say so?
I thought we did.
You did not.
Don’t get shirty.
Sh… What?
What’s the next one?
OK. I put a lot of effort into this one and it’s exactly what you asked for.
It’s a school boy holding a rubber. What’s wrong now?
It’s pants, Jay.
No it’s not. Its a condom.
Vicki, you’re going to have to make all these images again.
Yeah. You’re such a plonker Jay. What time is our presentation tomorrow?
8.30 in the morning. Do you want me to stop by your room and knock you up?
Oh, that would be great. Thanks Craig. What?
So there I was ganged up on by two Brits. Vicki and our friend Craig.
We made some other videos with Craig. Craig came to Philadelphia to go to a conference on podcasting. He has an excellent podcast for Spanish speakers who are learning English, and I’ll put the link in the description. You’ve got to go and check it out.
OK, what’s next.
Well next I think we should play a little game.
What’s that?
Well, I’ve got some clips here that you haven’t seen, and I’m going to play them and we’ll see if you can remember which video they came from.
That might be hard. We make a lot of videos and often I forget.
And while they’re playing, you can see if you can remember them too.
You might do better than me!
If you breathe in helium, your voice goes funny.
So what video was that?
Oh that’s easy. We just made that. That was the zero conditional video.
That’s right. There’s another one from that.
I read the newspaper every day and if I see a good investment opportunity, I call my broker and tell her to buy.
I read the newspaper everyday too, but I start at the back and read the sports pages.
When you snooze you lose.
So there was good advice for you there, Jay.
When you snooze you lose?
Yes, you’ve got to get active and check out your investments and plan for the future.
As soon as I finish the sports page.
Let’s have another.
You need to use the other copier. This one’s not working.
Really? Why not.
They think it’s an electrical fault.
Told you.
You need photocopier man to fix that!
No, I just need you to listen to me more! I’m listening.
So what video did that come from?
You know, I don’t remember.
OK, I’ll give you another clue.
Where did you learn to whistle like that?
My mother taught me. It’s a very useful skill.
Your mother?
Welcome to the Good Morning Show. In today’s program we’re going to be talking to Hillary Clinton. Oh I’m sorry. That’s the wrong picture. We’ve clearly made a mistake.
Have you got it now?
I’ve got it now. It was a video about the things we say when we a mistake.
Yes, we looked at different things we say when we screw up or mess up.
A very useful video!
How did you like being the news reporter in that scene?
Well in the early part of my career I was a television news reporter. OK. Here’s a clip from another video.
Hi everyone, I’ve Vicki.
And I’m Jay.
Jay looks different from normal because he has a moustache today.
Oh, do you want one too?
Here you go.
So what video was that?
I can’t remember.
We shot it a while ago. It was about a British and American difference in the prepositions we use after the word different.
Right, I remember. She uses a different preposition than I do.
No, I use a different preposition TO you. Or from you. We both say ‘different from’.
You know those moustaches are fun. The funny thing is you can put them on upside down and give yourself a big eyebrow.
Let’s.. Let’s show you a more recent video that you can remember.
Let’s… let’s show you a more recent video that you can remember.
Oh officer. Is there a problem?
Yes, you can’t park here.
I’m just going to move it.
You’re too late. You should not have parked here.
Oh officer. Oh my. What beautiful brown eyes you have.
Flattery will get you nowhere.
You know I’ve got some donuts in the car. Perhaps I could give you the donuts and you could throw away that ticket.
That’s not flattery. That’s bribery.
So what was that video about?
Oh, I know this one. It was about how NOT to give compliments.
That’s right.
I’m not sure if everybody knows this but in American comedies, policemen are often seen eating donuts, so that’s the origin of that skit.
Skit. That’s an interesting word you used.
A skit is like a very short funny scene.
Often it’s making fun of someone.
We made two videos about compliments – one about how to give them and one about how NOT to give them and they had a lot of skits.
Have you had your hair cut?
Yes, I’ve got a new barber. What do you think?
Oh it’s very smart. It’s so much better than it looked before.
Oh great.
Let me see the back. See! I like what he’s done with your bald spot.
So that video was about backhanded compliments.
Or left-handed compliments.
Now we’ve also learned since we published the video that Americans say both left-handed compliments and backhanded compliments.
And let’s have a look at another one.
Oh and here’s a picture of me and my brother.
Oh wow. Is that handsome guy you?
You look great. I nearly didn’t recognize you.
Yeah, it doesn’t look like you at all.
So sometimes in our skits, I’m sure you’ve seen that Vicki is mean to me, but she’s not really. Are you?
Well sometimes, you’re mean to me in the skits as well.
You’re right.
Kathy said you’ve got my next assignment.
Ah yes.
What is it?
Decisions, decisions! I want you to write a report on the Boston project.
I thought about asking Andrew to do this, or Jenny, or Sam, but then I thought, no. You’re the right person for this job. I think.
Well, it looks great.
Err. Here’s the report we did on the Chicago project.
You can use the same format, but this time the structure needs to be completely different.
The same format but a different structure?
Yes, And your report needs to be longer – although it should be more concise, so keep it short.
So longer but shorter?
That’s right. Don’t get too detailed, but you need to go deeper than just the surface? And you can use pictures if you want. Or maybe not, because it needs to be serious… or funny. Funny’s good too.
This sounds hard.
Yes and Kathy wants you to get it right and do a good job, so take your time. But she needs it on her desk in half an hour, because we’re all waiting for it.
So anyway, I’m going to go get a cup of coffee… or maybe tea.
Decisions decisions!
You had a hard job deciding what to do there.
Well the fun part was watching you squirm.
To squirm has two meanings. One is to move around a lot because you’re uncomfortable or nervous.
And the other meaning is to feel embarrassed or ashamed.
I’m going to make you squirm now.
Can you remember what video that skit came from?
Oh no – now I feel embarrassed. I can’t remember.
It was about connectors and conjunctions, so those little words like ‘and’, ‘because’, ‘so’ and ‘although’ – words we use to connect clauses in sentences.
OK. Do you remember what video this came from?
You’re not getting enough sleep.
Yes, I think I’m working too hard.
I think you go to bed too late.
There’s another one I can’t remember.
Perhaps I haven’t shown you enough of it yet.
Enough. That’s a clue. Enough, huh?
Enough, yeah.
Let’s have some chocolates.
Ooo yes. But not too many.
You can never have too many chocolates.
So it was…
Too many.
Too much.
Well he was right. You can never have enough chocolates.
He was.
Now this year we’ve also made some pronunciation videos, where we went into the street and we recorded people saying words that are hard to pronounce.
Sh.. choir.
Oh this is another hard one.
Hey, she got it right!
Yeah. It doesn’t start with ch or sh sound. It starts with a kw.
So what does it mean?
A choir is a group of people who sing together. Like a church choir or a school choir.
Let’s show everyone.

[choir singing]

Wow, we’re good!
I bet they didn’t know we could sing like that.
Those pronunciation videos are always very popular, and we plan to make more next year.
The fun part is how we shoot them. We go out to the Philadelphia Museum or Art which is where Rocky ran up the steps if you’ve seen that movie, and we get foreign visitors who are coming to see the museum or to see the statue of Rocky next to the museum, and we put up a sign that says if you’re a non-native speaker of English, please talk to us. And then people get in a line to talk to us and they’re having fun. It’s really great.
They get in a line on a nice warm sunny day when there’s nothing else to do. But if it’s this time of year it’s very difficult because it’s too cold and nobody wants to talk to us. So we have to wait.
Yes, August is probably the best time for us to shoot those.
But we’ll try and shoot some earlier because I’ve got a lovely long list of words. Thank you everyone that’s sent us words that you want us to film and video.
But they’re not the only pronunciation videos we made this year are they?
No. We made a couple of videos that looked specifically at the ways British and American pronunciation is different.
Hey Jay. Have you seen my keys anywhere?
Yes. Where were they… Ah! Yes. Here they are.
Thank you. You know Jay, you make rhotic R sounds.
Really? Erotic R sounds?
No! Rhotic R sounds. It means you pronounce your Rs strongly.
And I was impressed with the fact that I have a rhotic R.
And also ‘o’. We did ‘lot’ – that ‘lot’ vowel.
No we did ‘lot’.
There’s a vowel that I say in British English that Jay doesn’t say in American.
Yes. I say it a lot.
A lot?
No, a lot.
Exactly. You see we say that ‘lot’ vowel differently.
OK. Do you want another?
Yes please.
You know, I think we should buy a big new camera.
Oh what a good idea!
We want one with high resolution.
I agree.
Very high resolution.
Yes, you’re right.
And we want one that films in slow motion.
Oh yes, I agree with you. You always have such wonderful ideas. Wake up. Wake up. Did you fall asleep again, Jay?
Err no, no.
Because we need to talk about the equipment.
Oh right. I think we should buy a big new camera.
What? That’s a terrible idea.
Oh Jay wake up, wake up! You missed the clip.
Was this the one where I get the big new camera?
I know what video that was. It had lots of different ways to agree in English.
That’s right.
Have we made a video about how to disagree yet?
No we haven’t but the script is half written so it’s coming.
Make sure you subscribe to our channel so you don’t miss it.
It’s going to be a good one. Really useful. There’s lots of pragmatics research about this.
What’s pragmatics.
It’s a branch of linguistics and it looks at how meaning is conveyed by more than the words we speak. We made some other videos that were very pragmaticky this year. Like this one:
Hi, I’m British and I’m rather reserved. If we meet somewhere like a railway carriage, I probably won’t talk to you. I think it’s polite to leave people alone, so they can go about their business without me getting in their way.
Hi! I’m American and I’m super friendly. When we meet for the first time, I’m going to tell you my entire life story in the first five minutes. I’m polite so I won’t hold back. I’m going to share and be open.
Well that difference has plagued us all the years we’ve been together and Vicki’s always teaching me how to be more polite from a British point of view, and I’m always trying to get her to open up and share, from an American point of view.
I know it really… I mean it’s the story of our relationship, isn’t it?
We had a lot of comments on that video.
Yes. And we had a lot on another pragmaticky video too, about grandma.
In some cultures grandma and grandpa is a polite thing to say. It’s respectful and affectionate
But in English it’s different. It could be an insult!
Don’t call people grandad or grandma in English.
Unless they’re your grandma or Grandpa. Then it’s OK.
Yes, or unless you want a black eye.
Get out of the way Grandma!
A black eye is a dark area of skin around your eye that you get if someone hits you.
First of all, I want to thank all of you out there who have asked us to b e your grandparents.
You have to understand that there is now a queue forming and you have to get in line.
And second we want to say a big thank you to everyone that likes our videos and leaves a comment.
Especially comments where you share information on your culture and customs. I love that. It’s so interesting.
We’ve had some great comments this year.
Absolutely! We appreciate all your thoughts and try to answer everyone, but it has been getting very difficult as our channel’s grown this year.
It’s become a bit overwhelming sometimes and we probably need to take a different approach next year.
But we’ll always read your comments and try to respond where we can. So please don’t stop writing because your thoughts help us know what helps you.
Our goal is to help you learn English and make it as efficient and enjoyable as possible.
So what’s your goal?
I want to make a great English presentation about our new product.
So I can impress my boss.
So she’ll think I’m smart. She might give me a promotion.
And why is that important?
It’ll make me happy.?
Yes! Now that’s a great reason.
All your goals should lead to your happiness. It sounds obvious, but we can also be motivated by fear. And fear can work.
What if my English is bad. What if everyone thinks I’m stupid? What if my boss fires me?
The problem with fear is it’s usually only good for the short term. The presentation or exam happens and you do well or badly, but then the fear stops. To learn a lot of English you need to be motivated over a period of time. Happiness is much more powerful than fear for that.
Well I think there was a very powerful message in that video.
Yeah. At the beginning of last year, we created a couple of videos about making plans and setting goals. And they were all about how to be more efficient when you’re learning English. And really I was sharing secrets and tips . Things I’ve learnt from teaching English over the years.
Don’t try to learn lists of words that are very similar. For example, if you want to learn say, eight new words for vegetables, working with a list might sound like a good idea, but you’ll probably muddle them up. Research shows we’re likely to confuse similar words if we learn them together, so space them out over time. Stories are great for learning vocabulary, and that’s another thing. Reading. There’s lots of research that shows reading is a very effective way to learn English. So books, articles, news stories. And reading isn’t just great for vocabulary. It improves grammar as well.
There were some really good tips in those videos.
Yeah, if you have a chance to watch them, you might find they help you to learn more efficiently as well.
OK, we looked at a couple of very common mistakes this year, and tried to help you fix them..
What are you doing?
You need to explain yourself.
I was trying to get ten dollars out of the box.
You were trying to steal ten dollars?!
Oh no! I didn’t explain myself properly. I put twenty dollars in the box and I was trying to get ten dollars change.
I’ll never understand you.
My mother says that too. She’s been trying to explain me for years.
Do you remember what video that was?
No, I don’t.
It was a video about ‘explain’. Explain is a very tricky verb because a lot of students make the mistake where they say ‘Explain me this…”
What should they say?
Explain it to me, or just explain, with no object. Erm… but there is that exception where you can say ‘My mother has been trying to explain me for years.
Absolutely true!
But it’s the exception that proves the rule. Normally we wouldn’t say explain me. Let’s have another one.
God, I’m late and I can’t find my cell phone! Oh God!
Did you call me?
Who are you?
I’m God.
But I thought God was, you know, a guy.
No, I’m definitely female. What did you want?
I’ve lost my cell phone.
Well, when did you last have it?
I can’t remember.
Hmmm. I’ll call it
Ha! Thanks God.
You’re welcome. Bye.
Thank God she could help.
So that was another video we made about a common mistake. We don’t say “Thanks God’, unless we’re actually thanking God. We say, ‘Thank God!’.
Thanks Vicki!
Thanks Jay!
So that was another video we made about a common mistake. We don’t say ‘thanks god’ unless we’re actually thanking god. We say ‘thank god’.
Actually there are some people we need to thank this year.
Our viewers?
Well yes, of course. But there are some other people too. Our collaborators.
Oh yes. We’ve had some great collaborators this year.
Do you remember Claire from English at Home?
Yes. Claire is British and she made a video with us about English spelling.
Yes, we had a spelling bee…
He means a spelling competition.
And Claire was the judge. She helped us teach a very useful spelling rule.
i before e except after c…
Our competitors are tied, so we will now go to a sudden death round. You will both spell the same word. But if one person makes a mistake, the other person will win. Vicki, please put your headphones on so you can’t hear Jay’s answer.
Jay, the word is neighbour. For example, our neighbour complained about the noise from the party. Neighbour.
Thank you Jay. Vicki, please take off your head phones and spell the word neighbour.
That is the correct answer. Congratulations Vicki! Jay, I’m afraid you spelt it wrongly.
But… but my answer was right. That’s how we spell it in American English.
American spelling is weird.
Hard luck Jay and well done Vicki.
That was not fair!
I think it was a very fair contest.
Well that’s just because you can’t spell.
We should make some more videos about American and British spelling differences.
Next year.
Oh look there’s another collaborator!
Oh yes!
In American and British English we often use the present perfect to talk about past actions that have relevance in the present.
I’ve lost twenty dollars.
Oh that’s funny. I’ve just found twenty dollars.
Well then it’s mine.
What was the serial number?
Can you remember what video that was?
I remember that you owe me twenty dollars!
We made a video with our friend Jennifer from Jennifer ESL and it was about the present perfect and how we use it differently in British and American English. It had another clip you liked.
Did you do it yet?
You know!
What? Oh I forgot.
You didn’t pay the electric bill.
So have you paid the electric bill yet?
Yes. The lights are on again.
I’ll leave a link to Jennifer’s channel in the comments. Let’s see another clip.
Who designed these calendars?
Oh I did. Do you like them?
How many copies did you print.
Oh, I don’t know.
I ordered 500. Is there a problem?
Yes. Look at February. There are 30 days!
Oh, it’s a mistake.
I’m so sorry Kathy. It’s my fault. I didn’t notice.
It’s my fault too. I didn’t check it before it went to the printers.
We’re both at fault.
Thirty days!
Kathy was nice to us there.
Yes, much nicer than normal. Did you hear that Kathy?
Kathy often plays our mean boss.
She has prevented us from flying first class, she has stopped us from getting help, she has insisted we work on deadlines. A really tough lady to work for.
She’s actually a dear friend and really, really fun to work with. We love seeing her. Kathy, if you’re watching this, a big thank you from us.
Thank you very much.
OK, this was a very special collaboration. It’s a long video so we can only show you a little bit.
I need to get to work.
No, no, no, no. You need some ‘lazy skills’.
Lazy skills?
Yes, so when you’re alone and you want to chill out. Let me teach you.
So show me how you sit on this chair. No. It should be more like this. Yeah. It’s better. You need some practice. Second step. Eat some chips.
No thanks.
Come on…
Mmm. It’s delicious. I love it.
No, but you should eat like a pig. Watch me.
That was one of the videos we got to shoot at the YouTube studios in New York with students at the New York Film Academy.
They were all ESL students so they were learning English as a second language, but they were also interested in film making and performance.
They did a great job, really.
They were wonderful. And they had lots of input into the script and they rehearsed it, they learnt their lines and they were such fun to work with.
They were.
And we mustn’t forget our other fantastic collaborator this year. Craig!
Oh yes, of course.
We made a series of 4 videos where Craig was the examiner in an exam for spoken English.
And we were the examinees. So we were the students that Craig was examining.
The videos were packed with good tips for how to pass the exam.
And it was funny too. I was a very enthusiastic student and Jay was a very strange student.
Well, first of all we’d like to know something about you. Vicki, do you like cooking?
Oh yes, I love it. I like trying new recipes that I find on the internet and I’m interested in Chinese food. I made some dumplings last week and they came out great.
Thank you. Thank you, Vicki. Jay, do you often use the internet?
Why not?
Because no one ever answers my emails.
Jay, if you could learn a new skill, what would you choose to do?
Oh I’d like to learn Morse code.
I’d like to communicate with aliens.
OK, so first off, I want to tell everybody, I actually do know Morse code.
It’s true. I’ll give you word to say and… in Morse code. This is a test, all right. I haven’t primed him for this. OK. I want you to say “hello” in Morse code.
di di di di di di dah di di di dah di di dah dah dah.
A special skill of his.
I was an amateur radio operator as a kid. That’s how I learned it. But this was a great series of videos preparing people to take a test.
That’s right. It was for the Cambridge First Certificate Exam, that’s now called B2 First. And we were very lucky because our friend Craig came to stay with us. And he made these videos with us. We had a lot of fun writing the scripts and also filming them.
I think one of the most gratifying things about this series of videos has been the comments from people like you who are telling us how much we helped them prepare for exams.
OK. Are YOU ready for an exam now, Jay?
Urgh! Another test?
Yes, I’ve got another clip where you have to remember the video and say what it was about.
OK. Let me try it!
You can try it too.
Thanks for calling. Yeah, I’ll tell him. OK. Bye now. Oh.
Who was that?
Uh oh. What did she want this time?
She called to wish you a happy birthday.
Oh that was nice of her.
And she wants you to work late tonight.
OK, so what video was that?
Oh, I don’t remember.
OK, I’ll give you another clue.
Hey Jay. Happy birthday.
Oh thank you!
I hope you like them.
I’m sure I will. It’s hair curlers?
Yes. Can I borrow them sometime?
Errr. Sure.
Thank you.
Do you know now?
We made a series of videos about the verbs ‘hope’ and ‘wish’.
Oh right.
They’re very tricky verbs, but it was a long time ago, wasn’t it, Jay?
Well and I hope Kathy gives me a raise.
Hey, how’s it going?
Oh I’m feeling a little down.
Oh. Well I just meat our new neighbour.
Oh yeah. What’s he like?
His name is Tom and he speaks six languages.
Wow! How old is he?
About thirty?
What’s the matter?
Well I wish I spoke six languages and I wish I were younger.
Oh, don’t be sad about it. I wish I knew how to cheer you up.
You know I really wish I did speak six languages.
That would be fantastic, wouldn’t it?
We need to give you a video you really like now. What was your favourite part this year?
Oh that’s easy.
Oh let me help you.
Oh no, I can do it.
No, no, let me help. Oh this artwork looks great. It’s really beautiful. Did you do this?
Yes. I just need one copy.
Oh I can do that.
Ah. It’s jammed. You have to take the paper out at the back. Oh. It’s stuck. Where are you going? Help, help.
Help, oh, you’ve saved me! Thank you.
You’re welcome
Who are you?
I’m photocopier man.
Oh you’re so brave and so strong. Those are really big muscles!
Well, I don’t know about that.
Oh and you’re so handsome. I love your smile.
Well I’d better get going now. Bye.
Oh. Where did you go? You’ll never guess who was here.
Photocopier man.
That one was a lot of fun to make.
And you know afterwards, people commented on the little curl that was coming from my hair and wondered whether I should keep it there permanently.
When we were making that video, I kept saying to Jay ‘oh let’s shoot this scene next’, and he said, ‘Oh no, we need to shoot that later because of my hair’. And I thought ‘Your hair? Why is that important? And then you arrived on set with the curl, and I understood. I’m so glad you enjoyed it too!
OK, I want another quiz question.
Really? Easy or hard.
Give me a hard one. I might get it this time.
You know, there are three types of people in the word.
Oh yes.
There are people who can count.
And there are people who can’t.
Mhmm. And?
And what?
So do you know what video that was?
That’s another one I can’t remember.
OK, there were lots of examples there of ‘There…’. Here’s another one.
Waiter. There’s a fly in my soup! What’s it doing there?
Ooo. It looks like the backstroke.
Yes madam.
There’s no soup on the menu today.
That’s right madam. I cleaned all the menus this morning.
It’s awful eating here. The waiter’s terrible.
So ‘There is…’, ‘It is…’ ‘There are…’. That was that video we did.
I thought the waiter was brilliant.
So that was a grammar video about there is and it is.
But we made another video about ‘it is’.
Did we? Now I’m forgetting too.
Yes, it wasn’t about grammar but it was about punctuation.
Can I help you?
I have a gun in my pocket and… Oh dear.
I have a gun.
Yes, that bit’s all right. It’s this ‘its’ that’s a problem.
It needs an apostrophe, see.
I have to be the worst bank robber ever.
You didn’t succeed if I remember rightly.
I think you got arrested. I think I was the policeman at the end with some handcuffs.
But I did learn how to use an apostrophe in its.
Now what about grammar? We tackled some more grammar topics this year.
Yes. We made two videos about countable and uncountable nouns.
What were they?
The first one was about some and any and we talked about how we make lentil soup.
Oh I remember.
It’s interesting because salt and rice are uncountable. But lentils are countable.
Yes, lentils are countable.
One lentil. Two lentils. Three lentils. Four lentils. Five lentils. Six lentils. Seven lentils. Eight…
Sometimes it’s hard to know which nouns are countable and which nouns aren’t.
Yeah, we should make another video about that. But we made a start this year with a lesson on some and any, and also much, many and a lot of. .
I remember that. We went upstairs to the deck.
On the roof of our house there’s a deck where we eat meals in the summer.
Let’s take a camera up and we’ll shoot some video.
Yes, and you can bring a light too.
This is our deck. We often have dinner up here in the summer.
There are a lot of stairs in this house.
Yes. This is our view. We’re in the middle of the city so there are lots of skyscrapers.
And there’s lots of noise out here.
Well yes. There’s lots of traffic.
Can you believe Vicki made me carry all that equipment up to the deck?
I miss the deck.
It’s a wonderful place in the summer and the spring time for us. And now that it’s cold outside, we really can’t go up there.
OK, so we looked at some, any, much, many, and another important grammar point was modals of possibility.
Oh yes. We made videos about can could and might.
And we experimented with a new genre – horror videos.
Oh sit Carter. Good boy. I didn’t wat to stay in this hotel, but it’s the only place that would take Carter. Such a good boy. I didn’t want to leave him at home. Anyway, I’m going to stop now and take Carter for a walk. It’s windy tonight and it could rain soon. I hope not because we might get wet. And then after our walk, we might just go to bed and have an early night. I’ll speak to you all tomorrow.
We were looking at possibility modal verbs like may, might, could.
You know that was the last video that Carter was in so it’s kind of hard for me to watch.
Of course, something very sad happened this year. We lost our dog Carter.
My best pal. And he was really great on camera with us .
We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who sent us messages when that happened.
Yes, it really meant a lot. Thank you all very much.
Another thing that happened with our viewers this year was we had a speaking challenge. Do you remember?
Oh yes! So we asked our viewers to send us videos to tell us who they were and where they live and what they do. And we got some incredible responses, didn’t we?
They were amazing.
And we also got to meet our youngest viewer.
I’m Elizabeth. I’m in Malaga, I’m in Malaga, Spain and I’m a student.
That’s Elizabeth from Malaga and she’s a student. How old is Elizabeth?
Oh I’m impressed.
Apparently she likes to sit on her mother’s lap and watch our videos, and her favourite video is the one we made at Halloween.
I’d like to do something similar again next year.
Oh, that’ll be fun.
The thing is it’s an opportunity for us to get to know you a little better. We really loved it.
And we have a lot more subscribers now than we did last year.
Let’s see another clip
I’ve got an important job for you Jay.
Mrs. Clarkson’s stopping by today.
Mrs. Clarkson of Clarkson Industries?
She’s coming here?
Yes. She’s flying to Chicago and she’s stopping off to see us on the way.
I need you pick her up at the airport and bring her to the office.
Her plane gets in at three. She only has a couple of hours between flights.
Don’t worry. When her plane touches down, I’ll be there waiting.
Oh no!
I don’t have my car with me today. Vicki gave me a ride to work.
Argh! You can use my car.
Your new Volvo?
Yes, but be very careful.
I will. Thank you, Kathy.
Whose car key is this?
Oh, it’s Kathy’s
The key to her new Volvo?
Yes, I’m going to pick up an important customer at the airport.
It’s got wi-fi and all kinds of gadgets.
I know.
How fast can it go?
Oh, I have no idea.
I’ll find out.
But I have to be at the airport at three.
I’ll be back in ten minutes. I’ll bring you some doughnuts.
Kathy will kill me if I’m late. Oh, hurry up Vicki. Where have you been?
Out and about.
Give me the key.
Jay. Why weren’t you at the airport?
I’m setting off now, Kathy.
You’re too late. Mrs. Clarkson just checked in for her next flight.
I can be there ten minutes.
She’s getting on the plane now.
But it’s not my fault. Vicki took your car key and then she took off.
Jay wanted me to get him some doughnuts. Would you like one?
Jay! In my office. Now!
So watch that video and you can go places!
And you can see how Vicki was mean to me again.
Did you like the doughnuts?
I loved the doughnuts. It was dangerous having them on set when we were filming.
They were too good.
Yeah, we kept eating them. And look at the results.
OK, do you want another?
Yes please!
OK, but we should stop after this because this video’s getting very long.
Let’s have a funny one then.
Oh. Mr Bond.
Yes, the name is Bond. Jay Bond. Nice to meet you.
Ooo. You too. And you’re going to London next week?
Yes. It’s my first international assignment. I can’t wait.
And you have some cool equipment for me.
Well, yes. We have some useful things.
I love gadgets. Hey, look at this. X-ray glasses. If I put these on, I can see through walls.
Can I?
Oh go ahead. They’re actually just normal sunglasses.
They could be very useful if it’s sunny in London.
Sunny in London?
Yes, sometimes it’s sunny at this time of year.
Well I guess then I won’t need this umbrella. Oh but it’s not an umbrella, is it? Let me guess. If I press this button a knife shoots out.
Well, no.
It fires a bullet then.
Err no. When you press the button, the umbrella opens.
It’s just an umbrella?
Yes, but it’s fully automatic.
Don’t you have any high-tech stuff? Like electronic gadgets.
Well, this one’s electrical.
Oh wow! It’s a radio transmitter! If I want to communicate with HQ, I’m going to use this.
Err. No, it’s not a transmitter.
Oh. Is it a bug for recording conversations?
No, it’s a plug adaptor.
Yeah. The plugs are different in England. If you need to recharge your toothbrush, it’ll come in handy.
But I need spying stuff. Don’t you have anything dangerous?
Well we have a couple of things that come with safety warnings.
Oh great. Show them to me.
OK, there are these tablets.
Hey this is more like it. They’re poison, right? If I put these in people’s drinks, will they fall asleep? Or die?
No, no, no. They’re travel sickness tablets.
It’s a seven-hour flight to England, but if you take two of these, you should be all right. Just follow the instructions on the label.
Oh this is no good. I’m an international spy. I need gadgets – dangerous stuff. What’s this? A water bottle!
Oh no, no, no.
Don’t tell me. It’s a long flight. If I drink this water, I won’t get dehydrated.
No. It’s explosive.
Hello. Jay Bond here.
Did you like that part?
Yes. Oh I can see right through to all those people out there. Hi!
Well I think that was one of your favourite characters, wasn’t it?
It was and it was the first conditionals video.
You’re quite right. You’re quite right.
We’d like to say a big thank you to all our viewers for sticking with us this year.
Yes, thank you for watching, commenting and liking the videos.
It’s very encouraging for us.
It’s been wonderful to see our channel grow this year.
Please keep sharing our videos and happy new year.
We’ll see you in 2019 everybody.
Bye now.
Bye Bye.

English Jokes 2018 Review Video Premiere

English Jokes and a Premiere Announcement

Next week, we’ll be publishing our 2018 review video. Please come and join us at 3 p.m. New York time on Friday 28th December 2018 for the YouTube premiere. This will be the first Simple English Videos Premiere.

The chat will be live and Jay and Vicki will be there to respond to your questions and comments in real time.

And if you miss it, you can also catch us in Facebook the next day at 10 a.m. New York time. Check our Facebook page for details.

Thank you so much for sending us some great English jokes. We LOVED them! In fact they were so wonderfully bad that we created a groan-o-meter to measure how hard they’d make us groan.

We’re very sorry if you left us a joke that doesn’t appear in this video. We were laughing too hard to include them all.

Click here to see our 2017 review video.

Click here to see our 2016 review video.

English Jokes and a Video Premiere Announcement

We have jokes! Great jokes!
Yes, but first we have something to tell you.
Hello everyone. I’m Vicki.
And I’m Jay and this is just a quick video this week because we’re getting ready for Christmas and we know many of you are too.
But we also have something important to tell you.
An important announcement.
Next week on December 28th we’re going to publish our 2018 review video. It’s always a long video with lots of jokes and we hope that you will come and join us in real time.
YouTube has a new feature called a premiere. Some of you might know it, but it’s new for us.
We’re going to try it at 3 p.m. New York time on December 28th .
What happens is when we publish the video, the chat will be live. So we’ll see messages in real time.
Jay and I will be online watching it as it plays and answering any questions and comments you leave in the chat.
In our review videos, we look back on the year that’s gone and play our favourite comedy skits.
I can put a link here to review videos we’ve made in the past. I love making them.
It’s going to be a fun video and a long video. How long is it?
I haven’t finished editing it yet, but it looks like it could be an hour or more.
Oh wow!
So get yourself a cup of tea and make yourself comfortable.
And the time again is 3 p.m. New York time.
Fifteen hundred hours.
Put it in your calendars.
Or as we say in British English, put it in your diaries.
What happens if they miss it?
Well, the video will be published as normal, so you can watch it later. The difference is we won’t be there in the chat.
So if you’re in Asia and you’re fast asleep at 3 p.m. New York time, you can watch it later
Yes, but we have another announcement. We’re going to try the same thing on Facebook the next day at 10 o’clock in the morning, New York time. December 29th. 10 a.m.
Facebook has a premiere feature as well, so again, while we watch the video, we can talk in the chat.
I haven’t worked out which buttons to press on Facebook yet. There are a lot of options.
You’ll have to do some studying and then you’ll have to teach me.
But we’ll both be there and we hope you can join us.
As well as YouTube, we also post videos on Facebook. So why not check out the Simple English Videos page and give us a like.

Time for English Jokes

OK, it’s joke time. We asked our viewers to share jokes with us last week – we’re talking about the sort of jokes you find in a Christmas cracker. So corny jokes – old jokes that make you go ‘argh’.
And our viewers didn’t disappoint us! They sent us some great ones.
Sometimes when you hear a joke it’s so bad, you can’t laugh. You groan.
So we’ve created a tool to test them. A groan-o-meter.
OK. the first joke comes from green orange. What does Santa Claus say when he walks backwards?
Tell me.
Good one green orange. Ok I’ve got one from Steffi. She says did you hear about the guy who got hit by a can of soda?
He was lucky it was a soft drink!
Argh! OK, I’ve got another soft drink joke from Emelia. What does the bottle of soda say to the wine?.
The bottle of soda to the wine. Tell me.
And sent another one too. What does the apple say to the apple?
I don’t know. What does the apple say to the apple?
Nothing. Apples don’t talk.
Good one Emelia. OK my turn. This comes from Nerd Incorporated. Why did the doctor get bored?
Because he wanted to inject some humour?
Mmm, Mmm.
Err. Tell me!
Because he ran out of patients.
Argh! Good one Nerd incorporated. We had a corny joke alert from Salad A$$. What did the traffic light say to the car?
Errr. I have no idea.
Don’t look because I’m about to change!
Ah! All right. My turn. This is from Serena. What do you call an alligator in a vest?
An in-vest-igator.
Argh!!!!! Nice one Serena. OK, Here’s a good one from Steffi. I’m reading a book about anti gravity at the moment. It’s impossible to put down.
That’s really funny.
OK, Ultra NGV says why does a student go to school with a ladder?
School with a ladder. Perhaps he wants to get top marks?
Good try, but no. It’s because he’s going to HIGH school.
Last one for you from Brian. What did the zero say to the eight?
Zero to the eight. I give up.
Great belt.
I don’t get it.
Zero – belt.
I think that one broke the groan-o-meter.
It’s definitely time to stop!
So don’t forget the times for next week’s video premieres.
And get ready for a long video.
See you next week, maybe in the chat. And merry Christmas everyone.
Bye Bye
Bye now. 

SEVY Awards

SEVY Speak English Challenge Awards Ceremony

Do you need to understand people speaking English with different accents? Then you’re going to love this video.
A couple of weeks ago we set our viewers a challenge: to send us video telling us who they are, where they’re from and what they do in English.
And they did! We were blown away by the videos we received. We can’t give everyone an Oscar but we can award them a SEVY – a Simple English Videos Award. Welcome to the SEVY awards video!
Congratulations and thank you so much to everyone who took part. You were brilliant!

SEVY Awards Ceremony

Hello everyone. A few weeks ago we gave our viewers a challenge – a speaking challenge.
We asked all of our learners to send us a video telling us who you are, where you’re from and what you do.
And we got some replies.
We’re they any good?
Yes, they were brilliant. They all deserve an Oscar.
Ah, well we’ve invented a different kind of an award called a SEVY, or Simple English Videos Award.
And so welcome to the SEVY presentation ceremony.
Shall we look at the first video?
Yeah, come on. Let’s go.

Hello Vicki and Jay. This is Jack. I come from China. I’m a student.

His pronunciation was really good.
Yes. English is his favourite subject. Jack, you get the first SEVY for pronunciation.
Thank you Jack from China. Let’s go onto the next one.

Hello Vicki. Hello Jay. I’m Emad from Egypt. I’m an electrical engineer, happy to enjoy this experience. Thanks a lot.

Thank you Emad from Egypt and we’re so glad you enjoyed the experience.
And you get the SEVY for coming from a place we’d both like to visit.
We’ve never been to Egypt and we would really like to be there.
But you know there’s someone else from Egypt.
Oh right. Let’s check that out.

Good morning, Vicki. Good morning, Jay. My name is Ahmed. I’m from Egypt and I live in Cairo. I’m an English language teacher and I teach English to adults. That’s all for now. I hope you like my video. Goodbye.

Ahmed gets the SEVY for multi-tasking. Walking while shooting.
He’s very athletic.
And his pronunciation is really excellent.
Yes, apparently he’s never been to the UK, but he watches the BBC world Service all the time. So it really works!
Obviously. Next one.

Hi! My name is Ashish, and I am from Varanasi, India. Now I’m working in Samsung Electronics as a promoter.

Thank you Ashish from India.
Yes, can you guess what SEVY we’re going to give to Ashish?
Hmm, oh I know. Best costume.
That’s right. Did you notice? He was wearing and English football team jersey. He’s a fan! OK, next one is our youngest viewer.
Oh let’s see that.

I’m Elizabeth. I’m in Malaga. I’m in Malaga, Spain and I’m a student.

That’s Elizabeth from Malaga and she’s a student. How old is Elizabeth?
Oh, I’m impressed.
Apparently she likes to sit on her mother’s lap and watch our videos, and her favourite video is the one we made at Halloween.
Oh, mine too. Hello Elizabeth.
Hello Elizabeth. Shall we see her Mum?

My name is Amanda. I’m from Guadalajara, Mexico but now I’m living in Malaga, Spain. I have multiple jobs. That means that I am mother of two little children. Bye.

So she’s originally from Mexico, now she’s in Malaga, Spain and she has multiple jobs.
Yes. Amanda, you win the SEVY for the best joke! Two children – multiple jobs.
Oh got it! Who’s next.

Hello. I’m Suzanne. I’m French. I live in a little town to the south of Lyon. I’m now retired but I was a German teacher. Thank you very much for your videos. I find them very useful. Good-bye.

Auf wiedersehen, Suzanne.
So she speaks French, German, English.
Right! She gets the linguist SEVY.
Yes, and she also gets the SEVY for being the first responder, because she sent us the video first.
Thank you Suzanne. Let’s see who’s next.

Hello Vicki and Jay. I’m Aki from Japan. I live in Australia at the moment. I work as a Japanese language assistant. I’m a big fan of your channel so please keep up the good work. Thank you. Bye.
Aki wins the SEVY for best vocabulary. She said ‘Keep up the good work’.

Yes. She’s lived in England, you know.
I didn’t know.
And I think she’s been to America once. Aki, if you come back, you must look us up.
Right, let’s see who’s next.

Hello Vicki, hello Jay! My name is Jerome. I come from Nice. This is a beautiful city in the southeast of France. This is close to Monaco, but due to my job now I live in Monaco. It’s still in France, but it’s closer to the mountains of Switzerland. I work for an important airport operator. I am the quality, safety, security, environment and complaints manager. And working in an international context at an airport pushes me everyday to improve my English a lot, and this is why I have decided to follow your YouTube channel. Thank you for everything. Cheers!

Jerome gets the SEVY for confidence.
Yes. He’s a very confident speaker. Apparently in his last job he used to use English a lot, but he uses it less in the current job, so he comes to our channel to practise.
That’s a very good idea because if you don’t use it, you lose it.
Good point! OK, next one.

Hi everyone. I’m Lucas from Brazil and I live here in Sao Paulo. I’m a student. I study petroleum engineering, also known as oil engineering, and this is my last year of college.

Lucas wins the SEVY for fluency and clarity.
Lucas we love Brazil. Vicki and I have been there a number of times and we can’t wait to go back.
Lucas has got a competitive exam in the next few weeks that’s very hard.
Good luck Lucas.
Good luck Lucas. OK, next one.

Hello! I’m Mario from north Italy. I live in the province of Provencia. I’m a farmer. I would like to become a professional singer as soon as possible. See you soon, bye!

Mario gets the SEVY for the most unusual job.
What does Mario sing?
Italian pop songs, but he also sings in English. Like Frank Sinatra.
Oh Mario, I wish we could hear you sing.
That would be so cool.
Let’s see who’s next.

Hi. I’m Ying Tao. I come from China. Now I live in Philadelphia in the United States. I’m a software engineer and I’m developing some apps for mobile phones.

So Ying Tao is right here in Philadelphia.
Yes, we live in Philadelhia too. And Yong Tao you get the SEVY for being closest to us. And one afternoon we’ll go out and have a coffee together.
We wish we could have a coffee with all of you.
Or a party.
It’s been FANTASTIC to receive your videos, and to get to know you a little bit better because we make the videos and we have no idea who’s watching them so this has been marvelous for us.
It’s really been nice to meet you. Thank you so much for sending the videos. Have a great week everyone and we’ll see you next Friday.

Speak English Challenge

Speaking English Challenge. Who are you?

Please join us for our first ever speaking challenge. Make a video of yourself speaking in English and tell us:

  • who you are
  • where you’re from
  • what you do

Upload your video to YouTube and send us the link and we will compile all your videos into one big video that we’ll post on our channel.
Make sure your video is published as ‘public’ or ‘unlisted’ (not private) and send the link to us.
The deadline is Monday March 12th, 2018.
We can’t wait to see your videos and get to know you better.

Click here to see some pronunciation videos.
Click here to see some videos with everyday conversations.

Speaking English Challenge

Hello everyone. In today’s video we want to set you a challenge!
Are you ready to practice speaking English with us?
At the start of this year we made some videos about setting goals and making plans to learn English – tips for learning faster.
A lot of people responded in the comments and we loved reading what you wrote and learning more about you.
Motivation is REALLY important when you’re learning English, but your comments kept us motivated too, to make more videos.
And they helped us to get to know you better as well.
I feel like I’m starting to know some of you from the comments you write every week, but I wish I could know you better.
A lot of people mentioned that one of the biggest challenges they face is finding ways to practice speaking in English.
It’s not easy.
So this week we want to try something different and we have a challenge for you.
We want you to make a video where you’re speaking in English, that we’re going to share with the world.
We’ll put your videos together in one video that we’ll share on our channel.
It means you’ll get speaking practice and we’ll all get to know one another better.
So are you up to a challenge? Here’s what we want you to do. Make a short video – just two or three sentences – telling us who you are, where you’re from and what you do.
I’m really excited to know what you all do for a living. Are you students? What are you studying? Are you working? What’s your job?
So that’s your challenge. Tell us who you are in a two or three sentences.
And video it! We need some examples, Jay.
Yes. Here are some examples to help you.

Hi, I’m Vicki and I come from Cambridge in the UK. But now I live in Philadelphia in the United States. I’m an English teacher and I make videos.

I’m Jay and I’m American. I’m Vicki’s husband and I’m an instructional designer so I make computer-based training programs.

So your video should be like that – short and simple.
Just a few sentences introducing yourself.
Something to note. Before jobs and professions we say ‘a’ and ‘an’. For example, a student, a teacher, an English teacher.
Oh and feel free to share photos if you want, but if anyone else appears in your pictures, make sure it’s OK with them first.
Yes, because we’re going to be putting your videos on YouTube. And no music, please. We need to make sure we’ve paid for any music we use.
Make sure the camera is horizontal when you shoot it.
Yes, it should be landscape not portrait.
So the task is to tell us who you are, where you’re from and what you do. Are you ready for your deadline? It’s Monday March 12th.
That’s not long. It’s just ten days.
So get your cameras out and get busy!
OK, the last thing. We need to tell everyone how to send their videos to us.
Right. The best way to do it is to upload it to YouTube and send us the link.
You need to publish it as public or unlisted. This is important. Don’t publish it as private, or we can’t see it.
Yes, and send the link to this address.
That’s me! I can’t wait to see what you send me. This is very exciting.
We’ve never done anything like this before and we’re really looking forward to meeting more of you and getting to know more about you.
If you have any problems sending us links to your videos or if you don’t have a YouTube channel, email me.
See all of you next week everyone!
Click here to see some pronunciation videos
Click here to see some videos with everyday conversations.

2017 review-best clips

2017 Review – Clips from our Best Videos

2017! What a year! We’ve published more than 50 videos (including 13 live shows) and we’ve had a blast. Thank you everyone for all your support this year. We really appreciate all the comments and suggestions you’ve left for us.
In this 2017 review we look back and show clips from some of our favourite videos. So grab a cup of coffee and come join us. (And stay tuned for lots more in 2018.)

Click here to see last year’s review with our best clips from 2016

2017 review with our favourite clips

Hello and welcome everyone!
Before we start, you might want to go and get yourself a cup of tea.
Or a cup of coffee.
Yeah. Because this is our2017 review video where we look back at some of the videos we’ve made this year.
So this video is going to be long – much longer than our normal videos.
But it’ll be fun.
So make yourself comfortable and come and join us!
Can you remember the first video we made in 2017?
Oh. Was it an English Show?
Oh good guess, but no it wasn’t. I’ll give you a clue.

Shhh! I don’t want to wake Vicki.
Who’s that?
It’s only me.
It was a loose floorboard.

I remember now! It was a video about the words loose, lose and loosen.
That’s right. They sound and look very similar.
It’s easy to confuse them.
And then after that we started the English Show videos.
We should tell everyone what that was about.
OK. At the start of this year we experimented with live shows. We used a switcher and we connected with different English teachers all over the world. We had some great guests and we got them to give us tips about how to learn English, and we played games with them.
Then there was live chat, so we could talk to our viewers in real time.
Yes, that was great.
Our friend Fluency MC joined us every week from Paris and he performed a rap.

Once again it’s Fluency MC, Fluency MC, Once again it’s Fluency MC, grammar through lyrics. Kick it.

And every week Jay used to transport me from Philadelphia over to Fluency in Paris in a different way.
What was your favourite way to get there.
I think it was the hat.

Jay, we’ve had a request.
Yes, Super Agent Awesome wants me to travel to Paris in your hat. But that’s impossible.
I think I can do it.
I’ll never fit in that.
Well I can shrink you!
I’m here! Well, that was exciting!

You had a hard landing there. How many English shows did we make?
Thirteen. We stopped because the tech was a challenge.
The internet wasn’t reliable and the sound went out of sync.
Or the stream didn’t start on time. So we went back to making normal videos.
I think we did some grammar videos.
Yes, modal verbs – can, could, be able to…

Oh Kathy!
How are you?
Do you have a moment?
Can we speak with you about the Boston project?
What about it?
Well, it’s the deadline. We’re a little behind.
Could we have another week?
No way! You need to finish by Friday.
Well then, can we hire an assistant?
Not on your life!
You don’t like the idea then?
In a word, no!

That was our friend Kathy. She plays our mean boss sometimes.
Kathy’s actually a lot of fun and not mean at all.
I just write her parts as the mean boss.
And often you’re mean to me in our videos. Like with the elevator. Do you remember that?

The elevator’s broken down. I had to climb up ten flights of stairs.
Oh dear. Oh! Hallo?
Vicki, I’ve got a package for you, but the elevator’s broken down.
Yeah, I’ve just heard. Don’t worry. I’ll have Jay carry it up.
No problem. I’ll get him to come and collect it now.

Yeah, I do like being mean to you in our videos.
I’ve noticed.
And I like how you trust me, even when you probably shouldn’t trust me.

What’s that for?
I’m going to hypnotize you.
Yes, just look at the pendant.
And let your body relax.
You’re not going to make me do anything stupid are you?
Oh no!

Yeah, I definitely shouldn’t trust you. Now what lesson did that come from?
It was about causative verbs– we looked at make, let and have. Grammar again.
Something new we did this year was lots of pronunciation videos.
We went out and met lots of English learners and we asked them to pronounce difficult words.

Comfortables. Ah, no s. Comfortable. Comfortable. Comfortable.
Kweel? I don’t know. Oh, kway, Kway, kway?
Er sixth? Sixth? Sixth? Sixth?

They were terrific, weren’t they?
We met some really nice people.
We also got them to say tongue twisters, so phrases that English speakers find hard to say as well.
Well, they’re good pronunciation practice.
A proper copper coffee, coffee pot. A proper copper coffee pot. A proper copper coffee pot. A proper copper coffee pot.
A proper copper coffee pot. A proper copper coffee pot.
That’s my favourite tongue twister.
We made a song about it.

All I want is a proper cup of coffee. Made in a proper copper coffee pot. You can believe it or not. But I want a cup of coffee from a proper copper pot. Tin coffee pots or iron coffee pots, they’re no good to me. If I can’t have a proper cup of coffee from a proper copper coffee pot, I’ll just have tea.
All I want is a proper cup of coffee. Made in a proper copper coffee pot. You can believe it or not. But I want a cup of coffee from a proper copper pot.

Another pronunciation video we made was about how we say the words ‘can’ and ‘can’t’ in British and American English.
She means ‘can’ and ‘can’t’.
Can and can’t
Can and can’t.

I don’t want you to see.
I can’t see.
Oh well let me try again.
Why? I can’t see.
Do you mean you can or you can’t see?
I can’t see.

That conversation is very realistic.
We really do have to check sometimes to see if we’ve understood one another.
British and American English differences.
We also made a video about the different words we have for clothes.
Oh yeah, and I learnt what suspenders mean in British English.


Another new thing we did this year was phrases from Shakespeare. Expressions we still use today, like ‘foul play’.
Foul play is when you do something dishonest and unfair. Footballers are sometimes sent off because of foul play. But foul play has another common meaning today. If someone dies and it wasn’t an accident or natural death, it’s foul play. So it’s some kind of violent criminal action that results in a death.

What do you think?
He’s dead.
Yes, but what happened?
Hmm. Maybe it was suicide.
Really? I think there was foul play.
You think?
I think there was foul play.
You think?

What videos were most popular with our viewers this year?
Probably the videos about how to learn. There were three. How to think in English, how to remember new words, and ways you can practice English for free.
All our videos are free, so make sure you subscribe to our channel.
And that reminds me. I want to thank some of the viewers who have helped us this year.
With captions?
We write captions for all our videos in English, so if you don’t understand a word, click the cc button and you can read it.
And some of our viewers have been translating the captions into their own language.
This is really helpful for people whose English isn’t very good, and it helps us grow the channel too because the translations appear in the search.
So we want to say a HUGE big thank you to everyone who has been helping with this.
And if you want to help, please start translating too.
I’ll put a link in the details below where you can see a list of our videos, choose one you like, and then translate each line.
It doesn’t have to be a perfect translation, so don’t worry about mistakes. Other people can always improve them later.
Yes, and please remember to translate the titles as well. In fact you can just translate the titles if you don’t have time to translate the whole video.
So what else did we do this year?
Well, we had the interview video.
Did we? What was that?
I interviewed someone very famous.
Hmm. Who was that?

Today we’re looking at English words for money and taxes, and we have an expert to help us: President Trump!
Mr. President. Thank you so much for joining us today.
Well, it’s a pleasure to have you here.
We’ll have to see what happens.

What did happen in that interview?
It was strange, but he taught us lots of vocabulary. And we made another vocabulary video about the verbs notice, find out and realize.

Oh, I fixed your computer. I deleted a lot of files. It’s running much faster now.
I don’t understand, There’s nothing wrong with this computer. It’s that one that has the problem.
Oh, I didn’t realize.
What files did you delete?

That was funny. There was another funny video we made about computers this year – with lots of phrasal verbs.
Yes. And I discovered you had a hidden talent.

I need you to log me onto the network.
You want to get into the system.
Yes. I can’t get in.
Then I need your user ID.
It’s 46821. Please hurry up because I’ve got a conference call starting in five minutes.
OK. I just sent you a link.
Click on the link and then scroll down.
Ah. A message just popped up.
What does it say?
‘Are you a robot?’ It wants me to type two words in a little box.
Oh. Are you a robot?
No, of course not!
Sometimes robots try to hack into our system.
I’m a human being!
Then just put in the words. Key them in.
It’s impossible. I can’t read them.
Sorry then. I can’t help you.
Why not?
You’re a robot.
I’m not a robot. It’s impossible to read these words.
Sorry, I can’t help robots. Bye.
Ah well. Mission failed. Mission failed. Mission fail. Mission fail. Mission fail. Mission…

All these years together and I didn’t know you could walk like a robot.
I have a lot of hidden talents. But you wrote some crazy parts for me this year. There was one video where I had to wear a wig and make up.

So we always wear something. We can wear things like glasses, hats, name tags, jewelry, wigs and make up.

I think you looked very cute. But what video did you have the most fun making this year?
Definitely going to the Halloween store.

Is it cold in here?
Yes. You don’t think there are any ghosts here, do you? Like spirits of dead people?
No, of course not. Ghosts don’t exist.
Oh good because that would be creepy. If something’s creepy it makes you a little nervous and frightened.
I’ll tell you what’s creepy. I feel like we’re being watched.
Yes, like there’s an evil eye or something.

I really enjoyed that one too. Do you remember the bats?

And another Halloween creature is bats. Bats! They’re creepy.

Creepy but funny too.
It was my favourite video too. But what video was your favourite everyone? Write and tell us in the comments?
So what videos are we going to make next year?
Well we’ve had a lot of requests, so we’ve got a big list. We’d better get working on it.
Yes, have a happy new year everyone and great success in 2018.
We’ll be making more videos to help you.
Bye now.

Almost, nearly, amiable, amicable – it’s Q & A time!

Almost, nearly, amiable, amicable – it’s Q & A time!

Thank you for your great questions! In this lesson we answer your questions about the adverbs almost and nearly, the English Show, the adjectives, amiable and amicable and the curious case of American scissors. Plus more!

Look we’re back in our room with interesting things.
You know what that means.
It must be a Q and A?
Yes, it’s question and answer time.
Thank you all so much for sending us questions.
We love reading the comments and questions you leave for us. It’s very motivating.
Please keep them coming.
OK, what’s the first one?
It comes from John Benson and he asks can you tell us about two time adverbs ‘almost’ and ‘nearly’?
Oh great question. Thank you John Benson!
Yeah, almost – nearly. Do they mean the same thing?
Well, they often mean the same thing. For example, if we’re counting things. Like, what’s the time?
The time? It’s nearly three o’clock. Or it’s almost three o’clock. They mean the same thing.
Yeah, same meaning. And we use them both if we’re measuring progress too. So we’re almost finished. We’re nearly finished – same thing.

Come on, Jay. You’re nearly there.
Keep going! You’re almost there.

I think that in American English we say ‘almost’ more than we say ‘nearly’.
Yes. There’s a difference between British and American English here. Almost is more common in American English, but both words are possible in American, right?
Yes, I could say both, but normally I say almost. But here’s the question. Are there situations where almost and nearly are different?
Yes. We don’t use ‘nearly’ before negative words like no, nobody, nothing, none, never… With negative words we say almost.
So, almost none… almost nobody… almost never….
So we almost never say ‘nearly’ with those words!
Yeah, with negative words, say ‘almost’.
Great. OK! Next question?
Yeah, what’s next?
Erm… We had a couple of questions about the English Show.
People wanted to know when the next show is.
For those that don’t know, we had live shows this year with our friend in Paris, Jason R Levine – Fluency MC. But we haven’t had one for a while. What’s happening Vicki?
Well – the background. We had problems because sometimes the live stream didn’t work.
The technology was unreliable, so we tried making some edited shows, and they worked really well.
Yeah, but the main problem is time because they take me a long time to edit.
So, have you given up on the idea?
No, I don’t think so and we have lots of things we plan to do with Jason. So, can you ask me again in a couple of months? Ask me a different question now.
OK. This one’s from Shreelata Rao and she said:
Hi Vicky and Jay. I love all your videos. You mix learning with fun and that makes it all the more interesting. I have a question… What is the difference between amiable and amicable?
Amiable and Amicable. They’re both adjectives and they have very similar meanings.
Yes, you could say a person is amiable. Like, I’m an amiable person. I’m friendly and easy to like.
Yeah right. Shreelata, the difference here is about what the two adjectives describe. We use amiable to describe people who are pleasant, and we use amicable to describe relationships and agreements.
So for example, Vicki and I have an amicable relationship.
Yeah. So you could say someone is amiable, but you could say two people have an have an amicable divorce. They reached an amicable agreement or settlement. So they felt friendly and didn’t want to quarrel.
Like us. We never quarrel.
Let’s have another question.
OK. Here’s one from Marcio Oliveira and he had a question about a scene in our video on the word ‘Actually’. Let’s roll a clip.

Do you have some scissors I can borrow?
No, sorry.
Oh. OK.
Oh, wait a minute. Actually I have one here.
Oh, thank you very much.
You’re very welcome.

Now Marcio said, ‘I would like to ask, Jay says “I have one” for some scissors. Is that OK to a native to a pair of scissors like that, I mean, as a singular thing? Thanks, and congrats for the nice job!’.
Oh wow! Well spotted Marcio. In my opinion, (I’m British) no, what Jay said was totally wrong and grammatically incorrect!
And in my English, because I’m American, it was perfectly correct.

Actually I have one here.
Oh, thank you very much.
You’re very welcome.

It’s a British – American difference. They are scissors – in British English it’s a plural noun.
But scissors are one thing in American – a cutting instrument – one thing!
Wel, one, two blades. So you say scissors with and s at the end, but it’s not a plural noun.
No, I have one scissors.
I have some scissors.
No, I have one scissors.
Plural nouns can be tricky in English. There are lots of plural nouns that are plurals for both of us but singular things in other languages. Like glasses and binoculars.
Yes, we say glasses and binoculars in American too.
And then there are trousers and knickers.
You mean pants and underwear.
But scissors are special in American because you see them as a singular and you’ll say one scissors.
I’ve lived in America for nearly twenty years but I didn’t realise you said that until we shot that scene.
So well done Marcio for spotting that and thank you for that question. What’s next?
Lots of people told us about English words that they found hard to pronounce like thaw and though and island and lots more. So thank you for that.
Yeah, we made two videos about words that are hard to pronounce and I’ll put a link here because I think it’s going to turn into a series when we add all your words.
Thank you for all your suggestions. They were really great.
We’re working on more videos now, so subscribe to this channel and hit the notification bell so you don’t miss them. And if have other requests for other videos you’d like, please tell us. Another question?
OK, I’ve saved this one for last because it’s a little different. It comes from Sebastian Alegria and he says ‘What things do you like more from your work as a teacher?’
So he means what do I like most about being a teacher. That’s a completely different kind of question.
Yes it is, but what do you think?
Well, I know that for lots of people, learning English is a like chore. It’s a job you have to do. It’s not because you want to do it but you must do it. And I want to help and make it as easy, and enjoyable and efficient as I can. So you don’t waste time and you can learn fast as possible. So what I like most is helping. What about you?
Oh I feel the same. And I see technology and the internet as a way of bringing the world together so we can all communicate.
Yeah, we both love that – helping people to communicate and I think we both love having the opportunity to be creative together too.
Yep. Thank you for that question Sebastian. It was one that really got us thinking.
We should stop now perhaps and get this edited.
Yes, thank you everyone for all your questions. They were great.
Now, please keep them coming and see you all next week! Bye.
Click here to download Fix it – our free checklist that will help you avoid common mistakes.