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.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR MAKING AN ENGLISH VIDEO

WHAT TO SAY
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?
HOW TO SEND IT
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.
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?
OK.
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.
Yeah?
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.
BANG!
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?
Yes.
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.
Argh!
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?
Yes!
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.
Oh!
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.
Hi.
Hi.
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?
Yes.
You look great. I nearly didn’t recognize you.
Really?
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.
Uhuh.
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.
Uhuh.
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.
What?!
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.
How?
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.
And.
Too much.
And.
Enough?
Yes.
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.
Choir.
Sh.. choir.
Choir.
Oh this is another hard one.
Yes.
Choir.
Hey, she got it right!
Yeah. It doesn’t start with ch or sh sound. It starts with a kw.
Choir.
Choir.
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.
Oh!
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.
Really?
Yes. I say it a lot.
A lot?
No, a lot.
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?
Right.
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.
Right.
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.
Why?
So I can impress my boss.
Why?
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?
Nothing.
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.
OK.
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.
NEIGHBOR.
Thank you Jay. Vicki, please take off your head phones and spell the word neighbour.
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.
Agreed.
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?
What?
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.
Right.
Did you do it yet?
What?
You know!
What? Oh I forgot.
You didn’t pay the electric bill.
Sorry.
So have you paid the electric bill yet?
Yes. The lights are on again.
Good.
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.
Yes.
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.
OK.
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?
No.
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.
Why?
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.
Yeah.
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?
Kathy.
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.
Oh!
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?
No.
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?
Hmm.
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?
Absolutely.
We need to give you a video you really like now. What was your favourite part this year?
Oh that’s easy.
What?
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.
Who?
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.
OK.
You know, there are three types of people in the word.
Oh yes.
There are people who can count.
Mhmm
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.
Waiter!
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.
What?
It needs an apostrophe, see.
I have to be the worst bank robber ever.
You didn’t succeed if I remember rightly.
No.
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.
Exactly.
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.
Upstairs.
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?
Four.
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.
Yeah.
Let’s see another clip
OK.
I’ve got an important job for you Jay.
Yeah?
Mrs. Clarkson’s stopping by today.
Mrs. Clarkson of Clarkson Industries?
Yes.
She’s coming here?
Yes. She’s flying to Chicago and she’s stopping off to see us on the way.
Wow!
I need you pick her up at the airport and bring her to the office.
Great!
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.
Good.
Oh no!
What?
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.
Excellent.
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.
Well…
Can I?
Oh go ahead. They’re actually just normal sunglasses.
Oh.
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.
Huh?
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.
Huh?
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.
BANG!
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. https://www.facebook.com/SimpleEnglishVideos/

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.
OH, OH, OH!
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?
No?
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.
Shhhhhhhh.
Argh!
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.
ARGH!
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?
Four.
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?
Absolutely.

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.
Right.
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.
Bye!

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!
Bye!
Bye-bye.
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.
Really?
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?
Fine.
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.
Really?
Yes, just look at the pendant.
OK.
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.

Closet.
Wardrobe.
Pants.
Trousers.
Pants.
Underwear.
Knickers.
Panties.
Vest.
Undershirt.
Vest.
Waistcoat.
Suspenders.
Braces.
Suspenders.

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?
Yeah.
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.
Really?
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.
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….
Yeah.
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.
Oh
People wanted to know when the next show is.
Oh.
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.
Yes.
I’ve lived in America for nearly twenty years but I didn’t realise you said that until we shot that scene.
Yep.
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.
Yeah.
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.
Bye.
Click here to download Fix it – our free checklist that will help you avoid common mistakes.

‘Before long’, ‘Long before’ & Big, Huge, Massive – a Q&A

‘Before long’, ‘Long before’ & Big, Huge, Massive – a Q&A

Our latest video is a Q&A – question and answer session. We answer some viewers’ questions and give an update on the English Show. Please keep sending us questions everyone! We really appreciate them.

Click here for more hang out and Q & A videos

Hey, we’re in our room with interesting things again.
Yes, it’s time for a Q + A video –
Q &A – questions and answers
And we need to update everyone on the English Show too.
That’s right.
But before we start we should tell everyone to subscribe to this channel.
Good point. It costs nothing and it means you stay up to date with all our videos. We publish every Friday.
And thank you to everyone who has been sending us questions. We’ve got several today.
Great, then let’s start with them.
OK. The first one is from Nimky Nimky and he asks, “what’s the difference between ‘before long’ and ‘long before’. I never could before what’s its meaning?
So he could never work out how their meanings are different.
Yes, It’s interesting isn’t it.
Yes, ‘before long’ means soon – in a short amount of time.
So if you watch our videos every day, before long your English will get better.
Yes, before long you’ll notice an improvement. So ‘before long’ means soon.
But ‘long before’ is different, isn’t it.
Yes, if something happened long before something, it happened a long time ago – so much earlier than something else.
I have an example.
This is a dinosaur. It existed long before human beings.
So ‘long before’ means a long time ago, before something else happened.
Yeah, thanks for that question Nimky Nimky – it was a good one.
OK, next one.
I can’t quite pronounce the name of the person who asked this because it’s written in Thai, but the question is “how different between .big….huge….massive…..thanks”
So what’s the dfference between “big, huge and massive?” Great question!
They all mean the same thing, don’t they?
Well, they can, but we use them a little differently. If something is large we can say it’s big and if it’s very, very large we can say it’s huge or massive. So we can say there was a big crowd at Trump’s inauguration. And there was a huge crowd at Obama’s inauguration.
Yes, Obama’s crowd was huge or massive. It was extremely large.
That’s right. Now another thing. We can say ‘very large’, but we don’t use the word ‘very’ with huge or massive.
So Obama’s crowd was really huge, but we can’t say it was very huge.
Exactly. And massive is interesting too. We often use it to describe things that are very solid or heavy. So a massive castle, or a massive rock.
We could also say a massive explosion.
That’s because we often use massive to describe things that are damaging. So a massive heart attack is a very big heart attack that causes a lot of harm.
Yeah, we could talk about a massive storm and a massive earthquake.
Yeah, they’re bad things.
You know, we had a massive phone bill last month.
Ah, good example. It was a very big phone bill that was very bad. Still, that was a great question.
OK, here’s another one. It’s from Imran Kalandar. He’s asking about our YouTube channel and he says hello there. I hope anyone could help me.
So I hope someone could help me.
He’s asking about our YouTube channel and he says ‘Is this American English or British English?’
Well, that’s easy. It’s both, Imran!
Yes, I’m American.
And I’m British. I live in Philadelphia in the United States now, but I speak British English.
So she sounds funny to me, but I understand her.
Sometimes… sometimes you understand me.
When there are differences in British and American, we tell you about them.
And sometimes we make videos about the differences.
Maybe we should make some more of them.
Good idea! Would you like that everyone?
And we have a similar question from Steven Sanchez. He says where is Fluency MC from?
Ah, Fluency MC, Flu… Flu.. Fluency MC. Fluency MC is our friend Jason R Levine and he’s American.
He used to live in New Jersey, near us in Philadelphia, but he lives in Paris in France now. We make the English Show videos together.
How many English shows have we made so far?
Fifteen I think. We used to broadcast them live every week, but we had some problems.
Yeah, sometimes the stream would start and sometimes it wouldn’t.
And we had difficulty with the audio in the skype calls too.
Yes, it depended on internet speeds, but sometimes it went out of synch. The timing was wrong.
We couldn’t fix that in a live show. So we decided to try recording it.
Yeah we’re not giving up. We’re experimenting with recordings now so I can edit them.
Last week we did a show with Shanthi from English with a Twist and the recording worked much better.
We’ve had lots of great guests and we’ve got lots more great guests lined up. So stay tuned.
Yeah, and Fluency MC is going to be with us, of course!
It takes a while for me to edit the English Show videos because they’re very long so we can’t do them every week.
But we have some great shows planned.
What’s your favourite bit of the English show, Jay?
I like Fluency MC’s raps.
Me too, they’re great practice. And I like the games as well.
Yeah, they’re pretty funny. But we should ask all our viewers. What’s your favorite part of the English show? Tell us in the comments.
Yes, and tell us if there’s a topic or subject you’d like us to make an English Show about. We read all your comments and really appreciate them.
And please keep sending us your questions. You can write them below.
And join the English Show group on Facebook and you can write them there too.
OK, we should stop now and go write another English Show.
Yeah, until next week, Goodbye everyone.
Goodbye.

Click here for more hang out and Q & A videos

review

Happy Holidays Review 2016

A review of highlights from Simple English Videos in 2016. Jay and Vicki look back on some of the events and their favourite comedy skits and sketches.

Click here for more hang out and Q & A videos
Hello everyone. Welcome to the end of 2016 show. We’re going to look back at some of our favourite clips.
And stay tuned for an important announcement about our new lesson schedule and about out live show schedule.
But let’s start with the very first video that we made in 2016. Can you remember what that was? No, I can’t remember. It was on wait, hope, expect and look forward to.
Oh right.
So it was looking at the future.
I remember now.
And it started with a magic trick.
A magic trick, What did I do?

I’ve got a new trick to show you.
Oh good.
Now you sit over here and I’ll sit over here.
Uhuh.
And then I’ll wave my magic wand.
Nothing’s happened. Oh hang on. We’ve changed places.
Yes.
Well, I didn’t expect that.

I’m a good magician. I love magic tricks.
In fact we made a lot of videos about the future at that time. And it all started because our friend Rachel, back in 2015, was pregnant. And I said to her, ‘Oh there’s lots of language points that I always want to teach about the future where I want a pregnant woman’ and she said, ‘Well, we’ll wait till I’m really big and then I’ll come round and I’ll make some with you. And she did. Mhmm. Didn’t she?
It was excellent.

Hi Rachel.
Hi Rachel.
You’re pregnant.
Yes, I’m going to have a baby.
Oh congratulations. That’s wonderful.
Babies are a lot of work.
When’s the baby due.
Next month. We’re very excited.
Get ready for some sleepless nights.

It’s good that I write the scripts, ’cause it means that I get to make fun of Jay.
There’s another video we mde Jay where we’re collaborating with Craig, our friend in Spain, and I got to be mean to you in that as well. As always.

Now the final item on the agenda: the sales training course. We’ve had some excellent feedback on this event. It was very well organized. Our thanks are due to Vicki in Philadelphia for organizing it.
Thank you very much Craig.
Good work Vicki. It looks like you’re due for a promotion. OK everyone. That’s it for this week. See you all next
Tuesday.
Good, eh?
But I organized the sales training course. You told him you did it?

You know, I can’t trust you at all. You’re very untrustworthy. Jay, that was another video. Right.
If someone is trustworthy, they’re reliable. And you can depend on them because they do what they say.
I need to learn to trust you more Vicki.
When companies look for employees, they want people who are trustworthy.

I need to learn to trust you more, Vicki.
How can I do that?
Oh, we could play the trust game.
The what?
The trust game. Turn around.
OK.
That’s right. And then you fall back.
And you’ll catch me.
Yeah! OK.
You didn’t catch me.
I’m just not very trustworthy.

You’re mean to me a lot.
I know. Do you mind?
Well, no. Not really. I know it’s only in fun.
I know. I think it’s in fun.
I like the clips where I get to be mean to Jay best. She’s mean to me a lot. It’s true.
One of my favourites where I’m mean to you is in that video we made about Friday the thirteenth. Do you remember? Yes, I do remember.

How’s it going Jay?
Terrific! I think I have a big new customer
Really? A big one?
Yes, they’re going to order a thousand units. Wow!
They’re gonna call me any minute and tell me. Fantastic!
This could be my lucky day.
Oh that’s so funny. Why?
Well, today is Friday the thirteenth.
Really?
Yes. Some people are superstitious about Friday the thirteenth. They think it’s unlucky. But you’re not superstitious, are you?
No… Well maybe… Well, cross your fingers then.
Oh no!
Oh dear, you’ve spilt the salt.
Oh no!
Throw some over your shoulders… but keep your fingers crossed. Oh. Is that your phone? Keep your fingers crossed.

We did a lot of collaborations in 2016. We had a lot of great
collaborators.
Do you remember World Storytelling Day?
Oh yes. We had Mister-Duncan, we had Jennifer, we were in it and…
Erm, Gabby and we had Rachel and Jason. We all told a different part of a story. It was fun, wasn’t it. It was, indeed.
I can’t show you the video because it’s in a playlist, but I’ll put a link just here. We’ve been so lucky to collaborate with so many good teachers.
What do you think was the most exciting thing that happened to Simple English Videos in 2016? We won the YouTube NextUp 2016 2016 competition. Oh that’s right.

We really won?
Yeah, I’m so chuffed.
Chuffed?
Yeah, I’m tickled pink.
Well me too. I’m thrilled. So what’s our prize?
I’m going to spend a week at the YouTube studios in New York at Creator Camp.
So we can make Simple English videos there?
Yeah, and I get to collaborate with the other winners.
How cool is that!
I’m over the moon.
Me too. I’ll go and pack my bags.
No stop. It’s just for me.
I can’t come to New York?
No. You can stay here and look after the office.
Oh, I never win anything.
Well, we’ve also won some vouchers to spend on production equipment.
Really? Two thousand five hundred dollars. You’re kidding! Microphones, lights, a new camera.
How are you feeling now?
I couldn’t be happier.

NextUp was really exciting. I learnt such a lot. It was brilliant and I made lots of friends and we did collaborations there too.

Bootz and Katz, bootz and katz, bootz and katz.
What are you saying?
Boots and cats. I’m beatboxing for today’s lesson. Remember?
Oh. Can we video it now?
Oh, um. No, I’m busy now. Sorry, gotta go.
Well later then, right?
OK guys. Today’s lesson is on the rhythm of English and luckily we have some help. We have here Inertia. We have Premsy. We have Omni.
Fantastic! English is a stress timed language.
One. Two. Three. Four. One. Two. Three. Four. One and two and three and four. One and then two and then three and then four. One and then a two and then a three and then a four.

So I’ll tell you another thing we did that we’d never done before was we took the camera with us on a road trip. Oh that was so much fun actually. We went from Philadelphia to Cape May, New Jersey.

We’re going on a road trip and you’re coming with us.

I’ll tell you something else that was new that we did this year, was we
started a new playlist on prefixes and suffixes for people to expand their vocabulary. Prefixes and suffixes.
Yeah. An excellent idea.
And it meant that we had to learn new ways to teach words very quickly. I liked teaching washable best.

The label says washable so I can wash it. Washable?
Washable.
Washable?
Not washable!

And we did our first ever song and dance on camera. That’s true. We are not good dancers. When I went to edit this video and looked at how we were dancing, we were terrible. I couldn’t edit anything in time to the music. But remember. Black socks never get dirty.

Jay, you need to put these socks in the wash.
But they’re black.
So?
Black socks never get dirty, the longer you wear them the blacker they get. Sometimes I think I should wash them, but something inside me keeps saying not yet, not yet, not yet. Not yet, not yet, not yet, not yet.
Black socks never get dirty. The longer you wear them the blacker they get.
Sometimes I think I should wash them, but something inside me keeps saying not yet.
Black socks never get dirty, the longer you wear them the blacker they get.
Sometimes I think I should wash them, but something inside me keeps saying not yet.

I think we need to practise our dance moves a bit more before 2017.
The other exciting thing that’s happened to our channel this year is it’s grown. It’s nearly twice as big as it was last January. And we’ve had a lot of friends helping us. That’s so true. All the people who have helped us by making captions. Thank you. You’ve helped enormously.
They’ve created captions in a lot of different languages, right? Yeah. There are over twenty different languages now.
That’s extraordinary. Thank you so much. Thank you so much everyone.
There was another video that we filmed with Rachel. Right. Do you remember the airport video?

Good afternoon
Hi.
Hi, we need to check in.
The machine didn’t recognize my passport.
I can help. Where are you flying to today?
Rio
Recife. We’re flying to Rio and then we have a connecting flight to Recife.
What are you looking for?
My reading glasses.
They’re on your head.
Oh. I had a bottle of water.
I threw that away.
Why?
You can’t take liquids on the plane.
Are you checking any bags?
Yes, just one
Can you put it on the scale?
Sure. Did you pack my gloves?
Gloves? Well it could be cold.
No, it’s summer in Recife.
Oh, of course. Can you check our bag through to Recife?
No, I can’t. You’ll need to pick it up in Rio to go through customs.
And then we have to check it in again for Recife?
That’s right
How much time do we have? How long is our layover?
About two and a half hours.
That’s plenty of time.
I need to ask you some security questions. Who packed your bags?
Me.
Me. We both did
When did you pack it?
Last night.
And has it been with you since you packed it?
Yes.
Yes.
And are you carrying anything for anybody else?
No.
No.
Great. Here are your boarding passes.
Thank you.
Your flight leaves from gate 19 and boarding begins at 11:20.
11.20?
Yes. Your seat numbers are 16E and 16F.
Do we have an aisle seat? Yes, you have an aisle seat and a middle seat.
And how do we get to the gate?
You follow the signs to Departures.
OK. Thank you very much.
Have a great trip.
We will.
I’ve got another security question.
What?
Did we lock the front door?

She was fantastic in that video. She was. And what’s more, she can always remember her lines. Unlike you and me. I know, she’s very patient with us, isn’t she? Right. But she’s brilliant.
And one of our other favourite collaborators is Kathy. Oh Kathy. Our mean boss.

Hi Kathy. How are you?
Fine.
You know we’re both flying to Frankfurt next month?
Yes.
Can we fly business class?
Absolutely not. The tickets would cost five thousand dollars.
It would be worth it for such a long flight.
Business class is really comfortable.
Forget it!
Ah well. It was worth a try.

Kathy is actually one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet, but I keep writing scripts where she’s the mean boss.
What’s your favourite? Oh, my favorite is the one where I’m hiding from you.

Oh Jay! It’s like he’s avoiding me.
Did you manage to get a new car, Jay?
Yes, it’s fantastic. It’s a Lamborghini.
Really?
Yeah. It can go over 200 miles an hour.
I’m surprised. I thought Vicki wanted a small family car.
Yes, but this car’s amazing. It’s a convertible.
How much did it cost?
Uh oh. Gotta go.
Hi Kathy
Hey Vicki.
Was that Jay?
He said he had to go.
I’ve been trying to talk to him all morning. There’s this sports car parked in our drive way and I don’t know whose it is.
Ah…. I think he’s trying to avoid you.

There was one collaborator who I found very difficult to work with. Oh but he’s my favorite collaborator. You know who I mean. I know who you mean – Carter. I do. Carter is the best puppy. He really is. He’s absolutely terrible on set.

This lesson’s about adverbs of frequency, but really it’s about me, Carter. I’ll teach you how to look cool.
People often ask me about my life as a fashion model.
Well, I’m always busy. I generally have two or three photo shoots a day and I’m frequently on the cover of top magazines.
I have a lot of fans in social media – millions of followers. I post to Facebook once or twice a day and I tweet and snap chat. And I travel a lot. I was in Paris last week and London last month.
A fun fact – I know I look very fit but I don’t usually work out. I normally take a walk three times a day but that’s all.
How often do I go out to parties? Well every night, but I am rarely home later than 3 am. I hardly ever stay up till 4. I’ve got to look my best, you see.
Yes, it’s not easy being a star like me. It’s a dog’s life, but I never complain. It’s just the price I have to pay for being famous.

But the biggest project we started this year was live shows, where we’ll stream live over (via) YouTube. Live television is the most exciting thing in the world to me. He used to be a television producer. And now we have electronic equipment that lets us switch three or four cameras, four computers, take calls in from overseas, put them all together. It’s really exciting. Live shows are great.
We had lots and lots of rehearsals this year but we only actually did one live show. That was last week.
Hey! Come on everybody. It’s gonna star… who did that?
It’s good to be back working with Jason again, isn’t it. He is
excellent. He’s a great teacher and he’s a great rapper. He’s a rapper.
Not only are we working with Jason, but you get to fly to Paris.
It was great. We learnt a lot. But it was chaos at the beginning. Before the show started, we’d had lots of checks. And then four minutes before it began, what went wrong?
Jason’s audio, Jason was collaborating with us from Paris, his audio went out of synch with his video.
My mike stopped working and then someone came to the door and Carter started barking.
So we thought all of this was going out on the stream. Well, it turns out I hadn’t actually pressed the button to start the show. So we recovered from that. It looks pretty good.
so we’re planning to have live shows on Sundays in 2017. Put the dates in your calendar now.
Something you should know about the live shows: in order to get notified about when they are, you need to sign up for our mailing list,
I’ll put details below, and also, click the little bell button. And then when you’re on YouTube, it will say when we’re streaming.
And there’s also going to be a change in the schedule. Yes. We’re going to start publishing our lessons on Thursdays next year, and also we’ll have the live shows on Sundays.
The other thing I want to do before 2016 is over is say a BIG thank you to you, our subscribers. Thank you so much. We’ve had such a wonderful response from all the people out there. It’s really gratifying.
It’s really nice to see people clicking that like button, sending us comments, suggesting new videos to us. Please keep it coming. We love hearing from you.
So now we just need to say Happy Christmas to everybody.
Happy Holidays to everybody. He says ‘Happy Holidays’ ’cause he’s American. We’re going to be having a British and an American Christmas in our house this year. Let me show you how we’re going to be celebrating.

What are you doing?
I’m getting ready for Santa.
Father Christmas!
Yes, and I’ve got him milk and cookies.
Milk and biscuits.
Yeah.
We give him something stronger in the UK.
Brandy? Yes, he’s an adult. And mince pies.
Mince pies with chopped meat?
No, with currants and sultanas.
Mmmm,
Beats milk and cookies, doesn’t it? Merry Christmas everyone.
Happy holidays.

Q&A 5 Language change, word frequencies, effectual, autumn, fall and our live show

Q&A 5 Language change, word frequencies, effectual, autumn, fall and our live show

A question and answer session where Vicki and Jay answer viewers’ questions about the English language. They look at the words efficient, effective and effectual, language change, hyphens and also fall and autumn.

Click here if you’d like to know more about the words efficient and effective.

Transcript:
Oh look, here we are again Jay.
Yes, this lesson is a Q & A – question and answer.
We haven’t done one of these for a while.
Yes, it’s good to be back
And we have an important announcement for you all.
It’s about the Live show, so stick around so we can tell you about it.
Yeah.
Stick around. That means stay with us. Don’t go away.
So let’s get to it.
Well our first question is from Trin Nguyen. Trin had a question about our video on the words effective and efficient. Trin says ‘Thank you so much for the clear explanation, but could you make another video talking about effectual. Is it the synonym of effective?’
So does effectual mean the same as effective? Should we show everyone what effective means first?
Yeah, let’s roll the clip.

Our windows are dirty so I’ve bought a new tool to clean them. Let’s try it out. Great results. It’s very effective.

So effective means getting the result you want, producing a successful result.
But what about effectual? Trin wants to know if it means the same thing.
Yes it does, Trin, they’re synonyms. But effective is a much more common word than effectual.
It’s a more useful word to know.
Exactly. I looked it up at Google Fight and you can see which word is more frequent. Effective is used a lot more than effectual.
What is Google Fight?
It’s a great website for comparing word frequencies quickly. You type in two words or phrases and it calculates a Google visibility score. It looks at the number of times people have searched for the words on Google and the number of results Google came up with.
Is it an official Google website?
No, it was set up by some guys in France I think, but it uses Google data.
There is a similar Google site called Ngrams, isn’t there?.
Yes, Ngrams is great for historical data and I went there too. It’s an official Google site. So at Ngrams I typed in effective and effectual and you can see – we get similar results.
Effective is the red line and effectual is the blue line.
That’s right. This shows you how often the words were used in books over two centuries.
Just books.
Yeah.
So effectual used to be more frequent than effective, but now it’s not. You can see how words rise and fall over time, because of course languages change. So Trin, don’t use effectual. It’s an old fashioned word.
That was a great question from Trin.
Yeah, let’s have another one.
OK, several people have been commenting about the pizza in our latest video. Paw El says How much is a regular pizza in the UK. I’m just curious, he says, because the price in the video seems horrendous for a pizza.
Horrendous – that’s a really great word. It means extremely shocking.
Unacceptable.
That’s right. Let’s see how much you paid for that pizza

I paid twenty five dollars.
I ordered extra toppings.
You know, I paid the pizza guy last week too.
Do you want us to contribute?
Oh there’s no need. He’s already paid for it.

I think you’re right Paw. $25 was a horrendous price. By the way, we paid for it in the US, not the UK.
How much do we normally pay for a pizza?
In Philadelphia it’s generally about $12 or $13 plus a tip. So maybe about $16. Unless you get extra toppings.
Then I must have ordered a lot of extra toppings. I was very hungry, Paw!
Shall we tell everyone about the live show now?
No, let’s have another question first.
OK. This one’s from Julian Perez. Julian had a question about the video we made on the prefix anti-.
Umhmm.
He said ‘Hello there. Thanks for sharing this video. I noticed that some of the words had the prefix anti- with a hyphen and others don’t. Is there any rule to use this prefix with or without a hyphen.
That’s a really great question. Well spotted Julian.
So what are the rules for hyphens? And are there any rules?
There are some rules, but they’re not straightforward. Sometimes it depends on meaning. Like we’re working on another video where a prefix has two meanings.
Oh yeah. With one meaning it has a hyphen but with the other it doesn’t.
And the other big factor is language change. Again, language change. Over time people just start changing how they write words.
So how do dictionaries decide how to spell them?
Well these days dictionaries have big databanks of language and they look at them to see what people are saying and writing.
So they can see if people generally hyphenate a word or not.
That’s right.
Do we use hyphens more or less these days?
I don’t know about prefixes, but with compound nouns it’s less.
So we’ve been using fewer hyphens?
Yes, you’ll find lots of words that had hyphens in old editions of dictionaries that don’t have hyphens any more.
Can we give everyone more help with the rules?
Yes. I’ll put a link in the details below to an Oxford University Press dictionaries page.
Great. Let’s tell everyone about the live show now.
Yeah. Last summer we told you we planned to start live shows in the autumn. But we didn’t.
Too many things happened and we needed to rehearse a lot.
But now we’re ready.
We actually had a question from Anatoliy Borys about that. Anatoliy wrote for the first time in my life I’ve seen the expression starting in the fall. They he wrote what means starting in the autumn?
Ah, autumn and fall. So he means what do autumn and fall mean?
And then he asks can you make explaining video about this.
So can we explain this? Aha, yes we can Anatoliy.
So can we make a video explaining this. Anatoliy, fall is the American word for autumn. And I’m British so I usually say autumn.
And I’m American and I say fall.
But it’s December now so our live show is a bit late because it’s not the fall or the autumn.
Well, you know technically, it’s still fall. Winter doesn’t start until around December 20th.
But here’s the important thing. The show’s going to be great. Get your diary out everyone.
She means calendar.
And mark the date. Next Sunday – that’s the eleventh of December.
December eleventh.
At 4 pm London time…
11 am New York time
… we’re holding our first live show. We’ll both be there and we’re featuring our old friend Fluency MC.

Once again it’s Fluency MC. Fluency MC. Once again it’s Fluency MC. Grammar through lyrics. Kick it!

Jason will be live in Paris and Vicki will be live right here in Philadelphia.
Jay is our Technical Director and he’s going to transport me to Paris.
Well, I’m going to try. But we’ve got lots of things planned – language practice, conversation, games, puzzles.
And a rap.
And there’ll be live chat so you’ll be able to ask questions and communicate with us.
You don’t want to miss this. It’s a historic event.
Yeah, you want to be able to tell your children ‘I was there at the very first Simple English Videos Live Show.’
So get this date in your diary.
Your calendar.
And if you want a reminder, sign up for our newsletter and we can send you an email 10 minutes before it starts. We’ll put a link in the details below. Tell all your friends about it. Jay’s going to transport me to Paris.
Well, I’ll try. We’d better stop now and go and rehearse that bit.
It’s going to be great. See you there everyone.
Bye.