In this week's podcast, Jack and Rich talk about Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini, who has been keeping an amazing secret from his family and teammates for the last seven years. The language focus is vocabulary connected to the environment and Rich and Jack also talk about what they do to help the environment. We also have a new riddle in our 'What's my Team?' competition!
How to enter the competition?
Press play on the podcast below
Listen to Ellie, who is this week's Premier League fan.
Guess Ellie's favourite team.
Write your answer in the comments section at the bottom of this page.
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How much did you understand?
Vocabulary - The environment
"Mathieu Flamini and his company might be able to really help in the fight against global warming."
"I always put my plastic and glass bottles in the recycling bins."
Mathieu Flamini celebrating with Mesut Ozil after Arsenal won the FA Cup last season.
In the podcast, Jack and Rich talked a lot about environmental and green issues and the vocabulary we use to talk about them. If you want to learn more have a go at the activities below or, take a look at the Green is Great pages on our Learn English website.
"I also try to reuse things, so if I have a plastic bag I will use it again instead of getting a new one."
"The climate in a rainforest is hot and wet but the climate in a desert is hot and dry."
Grammar - The Passive
In the podcast, Jack and Rich used some examples of the passive, which we create with the verb to be + past participle (3rd form of the verb). You can see two examples below. We use the passive when it's not important or we don't know who did the action, when the main topic (the subject) isn't what did the action, or we want to put the most important thing at the beginning of the sentence. If you want to learn more, try the activity below or look at our Learn English Grammar Pages.
"Global warming is the phrase we use to talk about the temperature increasing in the earth’s atmosphere that is caused by the increase in carbon dioxide."
"When we talk about climate change we are talking about changes to this normal weather that has been caused by man."
Jack: Hello my name’s Jack and welcome to this week’s Premier Skills English podcast.
Rich: Hi everyone. I’m Rich and every week we talk about football and help you with your English.
Jack: This week, we’re going to talk about a surprising secret, the language focus is words connected to the environment and later Rich will make another Premier League prediction.
Rich: And you have another chance to win a Samsung Galaxy tablet in our ‘What’s my Team?’ competition.
Jack: What was the answer to last week’s riddle Rich?
Rich: Ah, yes. Last week it was Lily... her favourite Premier League team is Swansea City.
Jack: We had lots of correct entries so congratulations to everybody who got it right. I think if you know about the United Kingdom you would have got this one right.
Rich: Lily said that every away match was a trip abroad for her team.
Jack: Abroad means ‘to be or to a different or foreign country’ and there is only one team in the English Premier League that is not from England.
Rich: And that is Swansea City from Wales!
Jack: It’s a bit complicated but Wales is a country within the state of the United Kingdom - just like England, Scotland and Northern Island.
Rich: Wales has it’s own football team - I’m sure you’ve all heard of Gareth Bale - and its own parliament for local laws.
Jack: But Wales can’t give out passports. That’s the job of the United Kingdom or UK, which Wales is part of.
Rich: So why doesn’t Swansea play in the Welsh League?
Jack: This is really complicated too, but traditionally the two big Welsh teams - Swansea and Cardiff City have always played in the English Leagues.
Rich: Anyway, back to this week’s winner….
Jack: We have selected a winner at random from the correct answers and the eighth winner of the What’s my team? competition is Abdallah a Chelsea fan from Kuwait. Congratulations Abdallah, we’ll be in contact with you this week.
Rich: Well done Abdallah! Later on in the podcast, you can listen to this week’s What’s my team riddle.
Jack: Last week we asked you about your regrets and asked you if you to use the structure wish + past perfect and regret + the verb in the -ing form.
Rich: We had lots of responses and it was great to see so many of you using these structure in your answers. We really hope that this is useful for your English skills.
Jack: It was also really interesting to hear what you were saying, although the topic of regrets is a often a little bit sad and often very personal too.
Rich: GalaUA from Ukraine and Maznanda from Indonesia both regret not spending more time with family.
Jack: Lots of you, like Rich, wish you had spent more time on your studies. Nalssgair from Libya, SalvaGH from Spain, Sir Mahdi24 from Afghanistan, Safwan2000 from Saudi Arabia all regret not studying more.
Rich: And lots and lots of you wish you had done more football training when you were younger.
Jack: Yes, Mugemanyi from Rwanda, NerdyYammy from Malaysia, Nikosonris from Ukraine, Aragorn1986 from Montenegro, and grigor25 from Armenia were just some of our listeners who regret not dedicating more time to football training.
Rich: And finally, CVanessa13 likes guitars, like Jack, but wishes she had learned how to play one when she was younger. I also have a regret from just last week. I regret saying that CVanessa 13 was from Ecuador because she’s actually from Venezuela. Sorry about that.
Jack: You need to study those flags a bit more, Rich!
Rich: I also wanted to give a special mention to MugeManyi from Rwanda who has posted the most comments on the website this week and is up to second place on our leaderboard.
Jack: And also to Rema from Serbia and Natka from Russia for replying to other listeners comments- some of you guys have got really good English. It’s great to see you leaving comments for one another and even helping each other out with English sometimes.
Rich: I’ve noticed on our club leaderboard that we only have 19 teams, so if you know any Stoke City fans or friends that would like to be Stoke fans it would be great to see them up on the leaderboard.
Jack: And they’re a really good club, they beat Chelsea in their last Premier League match, have lots of connections with Barcelona and are the oldest club in the Premier League. I could talk about The Potters for ages!
Rich: You said earlier that we were going to talk about a surprising secret.
Jack: Ah, yes. Do you know Mathieu Flamini?
Rich: Yes, he’s a French midfielder at Arsenal.
Jack: I was reading an article about him in the newspaper at the weekend and I couldn’t believe what I was reading!
Rich: Is he leaving Arsenal?
Jack: No, it’s not about football. He’s going to change the world!
Rich: Come on! Tell me this secret.
Jack: Well, for the last seven years Flamini's has been doing research into producing Levulinic Acid.
Rich: Sorry, you’ve lost me … you’re going to have to explain.. what type of acid?
Jack: Levulinic Acid is a molecule that scientists say could replace oil. Scientists think that this substance could be used as a biofuel or used to produce plastics, cosmetics and even food preservatives!
Rich: And Mathieu Flamini - the Arsenal midfielder - is making this ….acid??
Jack: It’s not him on his own but it is his company and it is the first in the world to mass produce this acid. He owns a factory in Italy which employs 80 people and 400 people make a living from his project.
Rich: That’s a lot of people. What has he said about the project?
Jack: Flamini has said that he’s always been concerned about environmental issues, climate change and global warming.
Rich: Let’s have a look at these words. An issue is a topic of discussion that is usually important and often we talk about environmental issues, social issues and legal issues.
Jack: We often say something is a big issue or a key issue or a controversial issue.
Rich: Global warming is a big issue these days. Global warming is the phrase we use to talk about the temperature increasing in the earth’s atmosphere that is caused by the increase in carbon dioxide.
Jack: We also often hear the phrase climate change. Climate means the normal weather that exists in a specific place.
Rich: So the climate in a rainforest is hot and wet but the climate in a desert is hot and dry.
Jack: And when we talk about climate change we are talking about changes to this normal weather that have been caused by man.
Rich: So it looks like Mathieu Flamini and his company might be able to really help in the fight against global warming and climate change but I imagine we all do things to help the environment. What do you do Jack?
Jack: I always put my plastic and glass bottles in the recycling bins.
Rich: Recycling, which is when things are taken to the factory so they can be used again is really important. I also try to reuse things, so if I have a plastic bag I will use it again instead of getting a new one. Also, I try to save water, I sometimes find it difficult to remember but I try to turn off the tap when I’m brushing my teeth.
Jack: There are lots of things we can do and we’d love to hear what you do to help the environment. What are the biggest environmental problems in your country? What do you to help the environment? Why is global warming a big issue in many countries?
Rich: And if you want to read more about the environment and practise your English why not try reading our web comics Five United and The Beautiful Game.
Jack: They follow a group of teenage footballers who face different social issues in their neighbourhoods. I’ve put a link to both of the comics on the side of this page.
Rich: Right, I think it’s time for this week’s competition: ‘What’s my Team?’
Jack: Here is what you have to do. Listen to a Premier League fan, who will talk about their favourite team and then write the name of the team in the comments section on the Premier Skills English website.
Rich: And for each of the 20 podcast competitions the lucky winner will receive a fantastic Samsung Galaxy Tablet. We wish you the best of luck!
Jack: Right, so this week, our Premier League fan is Ellie. Listen to Ellie’s riddle and try to work out what’s her team?
Ellie: It’s an end of an era for us this season. It’s the last season we will play at the Boleyn Ground after 111 years! Although it’s sad, next season we’ll be playing at the Olympic Stadium which was built for the London Olympics in 2012. It’s going to be brilliant seeing 60,000 fans filling the stadium. It’s going to have the best atmosphere in the Premier League!
Jack: Which Premier League team is moving stadiums next season? I think you should be able to find that out! Now, it’s time for your prediction Rich. How did you do last week?
Rich: Last week I made some predictions about the European Championship play-off matches and the matches aren’t finished yet! Well, one is finished and Hungary beat Norway to qualify. I said that Norway would win so I would be very worried if I was a fan of Bosnia, Ukraine or Sweden because my predictions have been terrible recently. The big match this weekend is Manchester City v Liverpool. Man City are flying high at the top of the table while Liverpool have had some mixed results since Jurgen Klopp arrived at Anfield. City have a big match against Juventus in the Champions League a few days after this game and Liverpool had a great 3-1 win at Chelsea in their last away match. I think Liverpool might surprise City and I’m going to go for a draw. Final score: Manchester City 1-1 Liverpool
Jack: That’s it for today - we’ve run out of time! Thanks for listening. And don’t forget to write your answers to the competition, things you do to help the environment, your predictions and any questions you have about the website or football English in the comments below.
Rich: Don’t forget if you sign in, you can score points to see if you can get your club, your country and your name to the top of our leaderboard.
Jack: Bye for now and enjoy your football.
The answer to last week's 'What's my Team?' competition was Swansea City. Congratulations Abdallah from Kuwait! Your prize is on its way!
What do you think?
What are the biggest environmental problems in your country?
What do you do to help the environment?
Why is global warming a big issue in many countries?
Rich predicts that Manchester City will draw 1-1 with Liverpool this weekend. Do you agree?