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RoPeCast Podcast

the lighthearted podcast for learners of English

by RoPeCast Team

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Are you an advanced learner of English? Really advanced? Then these podcasts are for you. They offer challenging listening opportunities and cover a whole range of fascinating topics to do with the English language, aspects of culture, learning tips, travel, and many more. And being enhanced podcasts, they provide pictures, additional information, and useful links.
Tune in and get hooked!

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  • 120. Studying gender
    Fri, Mar 23, 2018

    Heike is back with Roger for a more detailed look into gender studies. They are discussing what this particular field of social sciences is about, who does and who maybe should study it, and what aspects there are in terms of research topics and interdisciplinary facets.The UdS Gender Studies CertificateIf you want to read up on Saarland University's gender study course, follow this link for more information.

  • 119. Our gender issue
    Mon, Feb 19, 2018

    This time Roger invited Heike, an expert for gender studies. She is going to explain to us, how the term gender evolved from a mere grammatical phenomenon to what may very well be the most discussed topic of social and linguistic sciences in the last decades.We'll hear about many facets: From the influential heads that started the discussion up to the current situation and influences on our everyday life.

  • 118. A Jazzy New Year!
    Sat, Jan 06, 2018

    Peter is back in jazzy 2018 for another episode with Saul Rubin, his guitar teacher from New York.Today Peter asks about the jargon of Jazz music and how that differs from other styles' vocabulary. Talking about music is not an easy task afterall.Finally, Saul can solve the mystery of the Real Book's name for Peter. Just listen in to learn how that name came about and why you could be faking a song if you play it from the Real Book.Please note: We recommend watching this episode as vidcast. See the YouTube link on the right.

  • 117. A special guitar
    Tue, Dec 12, 2017

    You probably remember our Christmas specials about holiday traditions and music from the past years.This December we thought we'd make music our topic again (this time as a regular episode) with a focus on some music vocabulary.Peter's guest today is Saul Rubin, a renowned Jazz guitar player from New York. Saul tells Peter about the special feature of his guitar.Please note: We recommend watching this episode as vidcast. See the YouTube link on the right.

  • 116. Of excellence, elite and eminences
    Tue, Nov 21, 2017

    Roger and Neil continue their discussion of the "Teaching Excellence Framework" that has been established in England and Wales to judge the quality of teaching in higher education.Neil illustrates how increasing competition between education institutions can turn out rather problematic, and Roger adds how he thinks it unlikely that something similar could be established in Germany.

  • 115. Measuring university
    Mon, Nov 06, 2017

    Roger is talking to his brother Neil, who's back for another episode.This time they look into ways of measuring the quality of university teaching, the approach taken in the UK and potential problems affecting the "measuring process".Can the results of such an inquiry really be unbiased?The TEF projectRead up here on the TEF, the "Teaching Excellence Framework" currently being established in the UK

  • 114. Of proverbs' value
    Fri, Oct 20, 2017

    After last episode's discussion about cultural values in fixed expressions, our two hosts return to a topic they've already delved into a long while ago: Proverbs.Peter mentions a new cool proverb that he's come across but Roger reminds him, that proverbs in general are really not that frequent in language. But Peter doesn't give up on his favourite easily ...Episode 19The first episode dealing with proverbs that Roger references

  • 113. Of cultural values in expressions
    Wed, Oct 04, 2017

    Did you ever wonder where the Rolling Stones got their name from?Peter did and asked Roger about it. Roger suspects it's derived from an English language expression, which he explains to Peter.That explanation leads to a discussion about how much of a culture's value system is reflected in its language, expressions and proverbs.

  • 112. Things that don't exist at school
    Sat, Sep 16, 2017

    Last time we dealt with culturally specific concepts that do not easily translate, because they are missing their counterparts in other languages.This time our two hosts find a bunch of peculiar things in the American school system, that don't exist in Germany and - to some extent - are also foreign to Brits.

  • 111. Words that don't exist
    Sat, Sep 02, 2017

    When Peter arrives late for the recording of this episode he has a very good excuse: He was looking for a word. A word that doesn't exist.You wonder how that's possible and why Peter still made it for the recording? Well, Roger saves him some of the trouble. Listen in now...

  • 110. Of tongues, threats and tools
    Fri, Aug 18, 2017

    We are back with David Erent and English as a lingua franca.David and Peter are going to look at how the use of English outside of its native territories affects other languages and speaker communities such as the French, the Finns, and the Swedish-speaking minority in Finland.

  • 109. A Frenchman in Finland
    Tue, Aug 01, 2017

    French? - Finnish? - Swedish? - Arabic? - Hungarian? - Croatian? - I thought we were here to learn English?We are indeed! And today's guest, David Erent from Helsinki, is going to explain to Peter and to you how English comes into play to resolve the truly Babylonian confusion in his life.

  • 108. The labours of Maybot
    Sat, Jul 15, 2017

    As promised last time, Neil Charlton is back to explain what happened in this year's general elections in Britain.Peter wants to know what factors played the biggest role for the surprising results they had.

  • 107. A year after
    Sat, Jul 01, 2017

    Does that title ring a bell? Yes, we are referring back to our special episode number ten that we recorded on -the day after- Britain voted to leave the EU.Today Neil Charlton is back, almost exactly a year after those events, and he is telling us about BrExit reality today. Peter wants to know if people have realised what this decision really meant and how it affects life in Britain at this point.

  • 106. Figuratively baking
    Thu, Jun 15, 2017

    While our last two episodes dealt with the specific vocabulary for bakery products in Britain and the United States, Roger and Peter are looking into a figurative use of these words in proverbs, idioms and other fixed expressions this time.Would you believe us if we told you this episode is really the icing on the cake of the current mini-series? Or do you think it's rather a cherry?

  • 105. Of springy and holey bread
    Thu, Jun 01, 2017

    Roger and Peter are looking into bakery products again, while focussing on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean this time. Peter explains to Roger how Americans tackle the bread and butter issue.CerealsThis web page offers additional information on the topic of grains and cereals. Read this to prepare for some serious shopping and baking.

  • 104. A bread and butter episode
    Mon, May 15, 2017

    Peter is hungry. So he takes the liberty to eat away at a croissant while recording.This gets our two hosts involved in a conversation about the peculiarities of British bakery products, and Peter learns a lot about scones and cream tea, buttered crumpets, buns and pasties.Do you know what all of these are? Just listen to this episode.

  • 103. The problem with soccer
    Mon, May 01, 2017

    Roger received some feedback by other native speakers concerning his usage of the word soccer: They sad he wasn't using proper English (as in British) English there.But Roger being the experienced linguist did some thorough research on the topic and is now sharing the insights he gained...

  • 102. The problem with dictionaries
    Mon, Apr 17, 2017

    This episode's title refers to a remark that Roger made in episode 100. Today our two hosts are elaborating on why using dictionaries can be problematic and what exactly Roger had in mind. Of course, they will also let you know how to avoid the worst trouble.13. More than wordsThis is the first episode in an earlier mini-series, where we recommended a range of learners' dictionaries. Look back here for some recommendations on what to buy.LDOCE onlineThe free online version of a well-known British learners' dictionary.Merriam-WebsterAn American mono-lingual dictionary with a lot of additional information.

  • 101. One-oh-one 101
    Fri, Mar 31, 2017

    No, we have not switched to binary language, and April the 1st is only tomorrow.This is really all about the meaning of the number 101. Our 101st episode is all dealing with its rather peculiar ordinal. And it can mean quite different things, depending on its cultural background.1984Read up on the novel mentioned and learn about its even wider influence on language and media.

  • 100. And the award goes to ...
    Tue, Mar 14, 2017

    This is a very special episode for three reasons:? First of all, it's our 100th.

  • ? Then its the first that we have video-taped in front of a live audience. ? And lastly, it's special because we received an award.What award that is and how to translate the respective terminology into English is our topic for this RoPeCast.We also want to thank our listeners new and old for subscribing to us and following our show in the last years! And of course, stay tuned for more ...

  • 99. More time comes along ... or around?
    Fri, Mar 03, 2017

    Again, Roger and Peter are looking into metaphors for time. Peter noticed that time is not always money in the English language and together they try to put things into frame for you.And more questions arise out of this ... Is time linear?No, this is not about physics - it's culture, really, and economy!

  • 98. Living on borrowed ideas
    Tue, Feb 21, 2017

    Do you know what a metaphor is?And if you do, do you know how important a role metaphors play in everyday language?They are really worth investing some time into: If you know the central metaphors of a culture and language, a lot of words and phrases revolving around those central concepts can be logically explained and then memorised a lot more easily!Listen as Roger and Peter share some insights about metaphors in language.MetaphorThis Wikipedia article explains the metaphor in detail.SummaryThis site gives you a very brief overview about "Metaphors we live by", the book that inspired this episode.

  • 97. Training the New Learner
    Tue, Feb 07, 2017

    No, this is not about Karl Marx! Instead we are thinking about how teaching and learning can be more effective and more fun for both the teacher and the student.Based on what we read in "The gardener and the carpenter" we conclude this double episode with thoughts on how things need to change for and between teachers and learners.

  • 96. Of teachers and coursebooks
    Fri, Jan 20, 2017

    One of Roger's book recommendations "The Gardener and the Carpenter" was picked up by Peter recently and so the two start thinking about a language teacher's gardening and woodworking - figuratively speaking.And so Roger recounts some experiences with English teachers he visited at school and tells us what he thinks made a great language class.

  • 95. Teaching tips and presidential presentations
    Wed, Jan 11, 2017

    Roger and Peter are glad to welcome you to a new year of RoPeCast and English learning opportunities.To start off with, they make another new year's resolution concerning tips for teachers.Peter then starts with a tip for people into training their own or their students' presentation skills: When it comes to rhetoric, watch and learn from president Obama!Obama's farewell addressA prime example of his brilliance as an orator.An annotated transcript of the speechIf you want more detailed information.

  • 94. What a year!
    Wed, Dec 28, 2016

    Time for a very short summary of the past twelve months and some new year's resolutions. It's just a few days before New Year's Eve.Your RoPeCast team wishes you and your loved ones all the best for 2017. Stay tuned!

  • 93. Not always comical
    Sun, Dec 18, 2016

    This episode concludes our pre-Christmas series of book recommendations with comics respectively graphic novels. Peter has brought a selection of his favourites:Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons: WatchmenA group of somewhat different superheroes has to deal with a murder case at the brink of World War III.David Small: StitchesThe son of an X-ray doctor looses a vocal chord and his voice to cancer.Allison Bechtel: Fun homeAn autobiographical story of a homosexual coming-out.Joyce Farmer: Special exitsThe last four years of an elderly couple and how their daughter copes with her aging parents' peculiarities.Craig Thompson: BlanketsThe coming of age story of a boy, his first love and the ensuing problems with his devout Christian parents.G. B. Trudeau: The Doonesbury ChroniclesThe first collection of a famous American newspaper comic stripG. B. Trudeau: Planet DoonesburyAn edition of later comics from the same series, with a very special advertisement on its front cover, that Peter reads out in the episode.

  • 92. Thrilling non-fiction
    Sun, Dec 11, 2016

    We're back already - as promised - with the third installment of pre-Christmas book recommendations for your personal wish- or shopping-lists.Roger is back with some really interesting non-fiction works, and of course Peter has one to add from his shelf.Bruce Springsteen: Born to RunThe autobiography of the Boss. "'nuff said!"Daniel Kahneman: Thinking, fast and slowA nobel prize winner's insights on how our brain works.Karen Joy Fowler: We are all completely beside ourselvesA novel about a family and a mysterious disappearance. But all based on fact and a good read to think about what's going on in science nowadays.Alison Gopnik: The gardener and the carpenterA book about parenting, what to do and what not to. Our question to be discussed in another episode: Does this have implications for language learning?

  • 91. Illegally good
    Sun, Dec 04, 2016

    We are back with the next batch of our Christmas book recommendations. Sylke Loew is in the studio to share her expertise on today's genre: Crime stories. Have a look at her recommendations:Alexander McCall Smith: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective AgencyA middle-aged lady in Botswana opens a detective agency and helps people deal with their problems.Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: The Hound of the BaskervillesSherlock Holmes has to solve a mysterious case involving a gigantic dog.E.C. Diskin: The Green LineAn aspiring young lawyer gets onto the wrong train and ends up in the darker parts of Chicago

  • 90. Fantastic reads
    Sun, Nov 27, 2016

    This year - instead of broadcasting one long Christmas special - we decided to produce a special mini-series dealing with book recommendations that could inspire some of your Christmas shopping. In each episode we will pick out one particular genre of novels. This time we're looking into fantasy stories. Our guest is Christoph Klein, who brings along some good (or should we say fantastic) reads.And if you can recommend more English fantasy novels, let us all know below in a comment!Tim Burton: The Nightmare before ChristmasBurton's famous stop-motion movie turned into a learner-friendly reader with reduced vocabulary (600 headwords) and an accompanying audio version of the book on CD.C. S. Lewis: The Chronicles of NarniaA series of seven books, loosely tied together, telling the story of several children's great adventures in a parallel world called Narnia.J. K. Rowling: Harry PotterWe don't need to explain much about this modern classic, seven-book series. Go ahead and read the original, especially, if you've only seen the movies so far. There's so much more to discover in this fantastic world.Ben Aaronovitch: Rivers of LondonA series of fantasy stories as well as detective novels. Peter Grant is a junior police officer in London when he realises he's got a special talent. And soon he finds himself with a new superior, a detective chief inspector and wizard, investigating supernatural crime in the London area and brokering treaties with river gods.

  • X14 - Why Trump won and what it means
    Wed, Nov 09, 2016

    It really does feel like the BrExit vote all over again - For the second time in a year, the decision of voters has led to a more than surprising and unsettling result. Peter and his special guest David Nott from Iowa discuss how Donald Trump was able to be elected the 45th US president - and what this may mean for the future of "God's Own Country".RoPeCast Special #X10Our review of the BrExit vote on "The day after".

  • X13 - 'Cause of the caucus
    Fri, Nov 04, 2016

    Have you also wondered how the American people came to choose between two presidential candidates who are both rather unpopular? Who voted for them in the first place?In this episode you get an inside view on how the system of the American primaries works.26. Vote till you drop - the U.S. electoral systemListen also to this episode if you want to learn more about the presidential elections in general, before hearing about the primaries.

  • X12 - Ropey-Leaks
    Tue, Nov 01, 2016

    A candid(ate) special!Listen in to the plans we have for our podcast in the coming months.To fully appreciate the contents of this episode you may want to watch it on YouTube.

  • 89. Veritably charitable vegetables
    Sat, Oct 15, 2016

    In this third and last instalment of our mini-series on English gardens, Roger and his guest Peter bring their account of English gardening history to the modern day.Apart from learning about new interesting gardens, "gardeners" and concepts, three important societies are presented, that care for public gardens in the United Kingdom. In other words: three starting points for finding gardens to visit on your trip to Britain.Gertrude JekyllAn article about the influential "arts & crafts" garden designer.Find a gardenThe homepage allowing to search for gardens organised under the National Garden Scheme, NGS.RHS Chelsea Flower ShowThe Royal Horticultural Society's website about the annual Chelsea Flower Show.NationalTrust.orgThe homepage of the British National Trust.

  • 88. Of bridges, temples and other follies
    Sat, Oct 01, 2016

    And we're back with more insights on English gardens. Roger and his guest Peter (again not our host of the same name), continue looking at what makes a park and garden typically English. This time they talk about the later elements of the typical English landscape garden, leading to the reintroduction of formal elements in the Victorian age.William Hogarth: "The family of George IIThe description of this painting (showing a royal garden scence) references the quote Roger mentions: "the appearance of beautiful nature" from a letter from the same period. The text also mentions some influential gardens, and some statements about this - back then - "new" style of gardens.StourheadThe web presence of one of the big gardens mentioned in this episodeKew GardensThe second garden that is referenced in the course of this episodeThe Lost Gardens of HeliganHeligan is the Cornish word for 'willow' and this is the third influential garden mentioned.

  • 87. From Roman box tree to English capability
    Fri, Sep 16, 2016

    You probably know box trees: Small and hard leaved trees that are often used to create shaped bushes or symmetric hedges in many green areas around the world. Romans were already quite fond of them, when they created the first instances of what we call 'gardens' today.Roger's guest is an expert on English gardens and together they look into what makes a garden specifically English.Englischer GartenIf you want to get a real look at an English garden, there are examples outside of the British Isles, as the one in Munich that is described in this article.Ha-haIn case you still don't know what a Ha-ha is, have a look at this link to fill in the missing bits of information.

  • 86. Teddy bears and caramel wafers
    Fri, Sep 02, 2016

    ... these are by far not the only things students in the United Kingdom are concerned with, but they may play a little role for some as you will learn.In this episode Roger and his guest conclude the series on Bristol by having a look at university life in Bristol or the U.K. in general. What are the peculiarities of British courses and how do they differ for example from a German university programme? What criteria do you have to meet in order to be admitted to the University of Bristol?

  • 85. Eat, Play, Cycle
    Tue, Aug 16, 2016

    We are continuing our topic from last episode: The city of Bristol. This time we focus more on the current conditions and what makes Bristol an attractive place to visit or live in.Learn about the central feature of the city: Diversity! Be it the eateries in Gloucester Road and elsewhere, the music scene or the altitude levels which many cyclists are facing: You'll find it all from plain and level to the steepest, most challenging hills.Visit BristolDiscover on this page what else Bristol has to offer - if you just stop by as a visitor or stay for longer as a guest student.

  • 84. Of almshouses and slave traders
    Wed, Aug 03, 2016

    Today Roger is joined by a guest from Bristol to talk about the history of that famous port city at the west coast of England.BristolThis Wikipedia article about the city has detailed information about its history and the involvement in the slave trade.History of SlaveryIf you want to read up on how slavery has affected the world, have a look at this article.

  • 83. Talking guns
    Fri, Jul 15, 2016

    A meadow turned over by wild boars triggers a chain of association that - via hunting - leads to Roger and Peter discussing gun "culture" in the U.S. and the different approaches in the U.K. and Germany in comparison."The Gunning of America"A book by historian Pamela Haag that looks into how the American weapons' industry "implanted" society with its love of guns.Second Amendment to the United States ConstitutionWikipedia has detailed information about the constitutional character of the "right to keep and bear arms" in the U.S.

  • 82. Focus on football
    Tue, Jul 05, 2016

    Have you ever wondered why the United Kingdom as one nation has four different national teams competing in international events? - Well Peter has, not only since three of them made it into the current European Championship. Roger fills him in about the reasons, which lie in the history of football (i.e. soccer, asSOCiation football) on the British Isles.Football glossary in 6 languagesAs a little gimmick for this year's open day at university, we've prepared a multilingual football glossary that you can download and use for the coming games to shout and scold and cheer in the language of your choice!United Kingdom national football teamThe (non-)article mentioned by Peter in the episode

  • X11 - There'd better be no more Troubles!
    Thu, Jun 30, 2016

    Roger is back interviewing his brother Neil in the wake of the British EU referendum. Today they're looking into the special case of Northern Ireland and the sneaky influence media have had in the British decision.The TroublesA Wikipedia article on the background of the Northern Irish conflict, to read up on history, as Neil recommended.Debunking years of tabloid claims about EuropeThe Economist has looked into the propagation of EU-myths in British newspapers.

  • X10 - The day after
    Sat, Jun 25, 2016

    Today Peter has a special guest to discuss the result of the British EU referendum. Neil Charlton, political scientist and British civil servant for many years joins this special episode to give us some highly up-to-date insights into what happened in Britain the other night.How did UK end up voting to leave the European Union?The first of three articles from the Guardian having an even deeper look into the circumstances of the referendum.Nicola Sturgeon says second Scottish referendum 'highly likely' – as it happenedThis second article deals with the first consequences arising.UK votes to leave EU after dramatic night divides nationThe third article deals with the rift that is going to keep the British society divided for quite a while.

  • 81. That breax it
    Wed, Jun 15, 2016

    Today, we'll have another look at the EU-referendum, which is going to take place next week in the United Kingdom (on June 23rd). Roger has invited Dan back into the show and the two are discussing facets of the general public opinion, and they'll look into the possible consequences of a potential "BrExit".Information on the referendumThe BBC has compiled a webpage to inform the public about all aspects of the referendum

  • 80. Britain's EU merry-go-round
    Wed, Jun 01, 2016

    Today, Roger has a guest over to discuss the upcoming referendum on the U.K.'s EU-membership.They talk about why the U.K. is going to take this decision now, and what the potential consequences might be.The 2016 referendumFind more information about the upcoming referendum on Wikipedia.The 1975 referendumRead about the first big referendum referred to by Roger in this episode.

  • X09 - Reloaded
    Tue, May 24, 2016

    Finally it is done! And yes, this episode's title is quoting the second installment of the Matrix, but it is also meant literally:After LOADs of work in the last months we've managed to shift RoPeCast into a new era. We have RE-upLOADed all existing episodes to YouTube and also to this re-established 'classic' MP3 podcast.In this episode we celebrate the occasion with some guest in the studio, and we are finally back with revamped looks, all new episodes and - of course - entirely new topics. Listen in to learn more ...RoPeCast on YouTubeTry also the video illustrating what is being said!

  • 79. Last Contact
    Wed, May 11, 2016

    Ending our series on university austerity policy, we look into what really makes a difference to the success of a student. Is it what the Brits are discussing frequently these days, the so called 'contact hours' with a teacher? We'll let you know ...

  • 78. Class size does matter
    Wed, Apr 27, 2016

    Austerity policy at university is the continuing topic of this episode, and the two hosts are discussing its effects.This time they focus on the consequences of increasing class size at university in order to save money.Is this a good approach? - Listen in now ...

  • RoPeCast Relaunch
    Tue, Apr 26, 2016

    No, this time it’s not a joke. We are finally bringing back RoPeCast with entirely new episodes and a revamped look via YouTube.For this occasion we are planning a little party on Wednesday, May 11th at 2 PM at the campus studios of Saarland University (Building C5.2) So if you are around, why not drop by and meet the hosts of your favourite podcast?You may get to be on the next show as well!The MP3 feed will soon be moved to the new location and thus the new episodes will also be available as proper podcast once more.

  • 77. Austerity policy - Saving university
    Tue, Apr 12, 2016

    Austerity is a word that one encounters rather frequently in news and politics these days.In this episode Roger explains the meaning of this word, and both hosts discuss the effects that austerity policy can have on university in general and also how our university is affected by financial cuts imposed by the state government.

  • 76. Thorny paths for the thistle
    Tue, Mar 29, 2016

    The thistle is a national symbol of Scotland and a thorny path might lay ahead for the Scots if they separated from the United Kingdom.Roger was somewhat hesistant to state his own opinion about the Scottish referendum at the end of our last episode. But Peter won't let him off the hook just like that. He's asking again, and our two hosts are going to look in detail at motives and possible consequences of the Scottish vote in September 2014.The Scots eventually decided to stay in the UK, but the question is bound to come up again in a wake of what the news call the "BrExit". Stay tuned!On the topic of "BrExit"Find some original footage and commentary related to the "BrExit".

  • 75. Should I stay or should I go?
    Mon, Mar 21, 2016

    A question that The Clash asked in their famous song, but also a question that the Scots are asking themselves when it comes to Scotland being a part of the United Kingdom.Before the 2014 referendum, Roger and Peter were discussing how the referendum came about in the first place and what consequences the Scottish decision might have.Scot ReferendumThe original site about the referendum as archived in October 2014.Should I stay or should I go?The original song referenced by this episode's title.

  • 74. They are not always men, guys
    Tue, Mar 15, 2016

    As an extension of our series on affirmative action in the U.S. and the 'women's quota' in Germany (episodes #068 and #069), Peter and his guest Carrie are looking into the linguistic remains of patriarchic structures, and into 'measures' being taken.RoPeCast Ep 68 - Aaand ... action!The first episode in this little series.RoPeCast Ep 69 - Exhausting quotaThe second episode, preceding this one in out series.

  • 73. Tellies, Time Issues and Solitude
    Tue, Mar 08, 2016

    Ending our series on British boarding life Christoph tells Peter about his own accomodation as an assistant teacher, which came with some luxury but also lacked certain possibilities.

  • 72. Rich folks, Racks and Riding
    Tue, Mar 01, 2016

    Continuing our series on life in an exclusive British boarding school, we are now looking into questions such as "Rent a horse or bring your own?" or "Is my towel warm enough?"Hear about this and other pecularities of schools for rich people in this third episode of the series that started with #048.RoPeCast Ep 48 - Privately publicThis is the first of two earlier episodes in our series on public schools and boarding school life in Britain.RoPeCast Ep 49 - A school day comparedThe second part on school and boarding life in our little series.

  • The Lost Season
    Thu, Feb 25, 2016

    Now that the transfer of the old (we call them legacy) episodes has been completed, we are striving to bring you all those episodes we couldn’t air for all the technical trouble.We call them the “Lost Season”. Just hop over to our YouTube channel and give it a try! They are being aired on a weekly basis now, before we bring you all new stuff.Stay tuned for our proper relaunch with new episodes coming your way this spring!RoPeCast's Lost Season on YouTubeLook at this playlist or visit our new YouTube channel in order to listen to the latest goodies.

  • 71. Preposed to marry a verb
    Tue, Feb 23, 2016

    Do you fill in or fill out a form? Do you do things again or over? Are you confused when it comes to adding prepositions to verbs? Well, don't worry - even native speakers argue about this.

  • 70. Prep. talk?
    Thu, Feb 18, 2016

    In this episode Roger and Peter discuss the difficulties of learning and teaching prepositions in English. They talk about the logic and concepts behind this - or the lack thereof.This episode is the last of our legacy episodes. Well, that's not completely correct. Episode #70 may be old but it has never been published. When it was ready back in 2014 we couldn't broadcast it, because our old blog software wasn't working anymore by then.So, #70 is actually the first in a row of episodes that remained unaired for those technical reasons which eventually lead to a prolonged period of silence. But as you can see, we never really were silent, we just couldn't be heard. This is why we call this period "The Lost Season".But we're back now and have decided to publish all episodes of "The Lost Season" in the weeks to come. - Enjoy and stay tuned!Originally planned to air in Apr 2014

  • Tubed!
    Fri, Feb 05, 2016

    We did it! Or to be grammatically precise under these circumstances … we are doing it. Currently all previous “legacy” episodes are being converted and uploaded to our brand new channel on YouTube, episode by episode.RoPeCast 2.0The brand new RoPeCast-channel on YouTube

  • Life signs
    Fri, Jan 29, 2016

    Dear RoPeCast fans.After a technically caused stand still for more than three years, due to our pod blog software no longer being supported, we are working hard to bring back RoPeCast to you soon.We are planning a relaunch for April 2016 that will thoroughly refresh RoPeCast and introduce some basic changes.We are planning on moving from the abandoned “enhanced” podcast format to a vidcast distributed via YouTube. That way we will still be able to deliver illustrations together with the audio.The “classic” mp3 podcast is going to move to a commercial podcast hoster and will be maintained alongside the YouTube channel. We want to keep the transition smooth for you and we will try to set up a forward from the old mp3 feed.Stay tuned …

  • 69. Exhausting quota
    Fri, Nov 15, 2013

    In Germany the quota is a much discussed solution to the problem field of women not being properly represented in some parts of the professional world. We’ll discuss why Americans did not opt for this type of solution, how other countries deal with it, and we’ll talk about the general, social consequences involved.The New York TimesAn outside view on the German debate from the American news paper.The GuardianThis article illustrates the British view of the discussion in Germany early this year.

  • 68. Aaand ... action!
    Fri, Nov 01, 2013

    No, this is not about the movies or Hollywood. Roger has invited a guest from the US for this episode to talk about a question that has been much debated in Germany lately. The two are going to discuss what the United States are doing to ensure women’s rights and equality when it comes to getting a job. Americans take “affirmative action”. Listen now to understand what that exactly means … What is Affirmative Action?The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy explains the concept briefly and gives a lot of background information. The American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA)This organisation has been founded to promote the concept which is not only applied to women of course, but also used to protect minority rights.

  • 67. Cheers, folks!
    Tue, Jul 16, 2013

    No, we are not in the studio celebrating and drinking. Cheers is one of those words that have an entirely different meaning depending on which side of the Atlantic you are on. Or at least they used to have a different meaning…We are back with some more British vocabulary that is “infiltrating” American English these days. And cheers can be much more than just a toast! BritishismsA blog on "infiltrating" British words. Britishisms and the Britishisation of American EnglishRead a BBC News article about the topic of British English influencing the American variant.

  • 66. Back and forth across the ocean
    Sat, Mar 16, 2013

    Could James Bond be played by an American actor? Are there any red-haired Brits?Pecularities of the American and British variety of English are not as hard and fast as one generally assumes. In this episode we start reflecting on how American and British English are influencing one another – in the media and otherwise.How to speak American with the Harry Potter castThis also works the other way around. Watch how Daniel Radcliffe and his wizard friends try themselves at "speaking American".

  • X08 - Merry Christmas! (Christmas Special 2012)
    Mon, Dec 24, 2012

    A very short podcast on Christmas Eve to wish all our listeners a Merry Christmas and send you a little puzzling present.Roger's Cryptic Christmas CrosswordRoger compiled a cryptic crossword as a present to all you puzzling fans out there. Stay tuned for the solution that we'll publish along with our next episode.

  • 65. Hoisting the Standard
    Sat, Dec 15, 2012

    No, we are not talking about flying flags today. After a question in class, Peter asks Roger why many people still consider British English the only proper standard, despite the fact that there are a lot more American speakers of English.Noah WebsterA Wikipedia article about the "father" of American EnglishMerriam-WebsterThe online dictionary in succession to Webster's original productJohn WitherspoonIf you are familiar with actress Reese Witherspoon, read up on her ancestor here, who is mentioned in this episode and played an important role in the history of American English and also for the States themselves.

  • 64. Crossing the line
    Thu, Nov 15, 2012

    We are back with more puzzle fun! This time we are going to have a look into the typical British ‘cryptic’ crossword puzzle. Roger will explain what to look for when trying to solve them. And of course we provide some links and material for you to test your puzzling skills!The GuardianIf you can't get enough, the gigantic crossword archive at the Guardian website will cater for all your cryptic needs.

  • 63. Crossing words
    Tue, Oct 16, 2012

    Crossword puzzles are fascinating. In Britain even more so than in the rest of the world. Listen to this episode to unrevel the mysteries of British cryptic crosswords.They are really hard, but once you know what to look for, you can solve them, too!Cryptic CrosswordRead about British-style crosswords on Wikipedia.48 puzzlesTry yourself at these crosswords. There's also a solution so you don't despair.

  • 62. Time out
    Mon, Oct 01, 2012

    Our topic today is sports that were once Olympic. and in general how the public interest in certain disciplines varies over time and continents.We are referring back to the Olympics in this episode, and we apologise for being late; time-out of a different sort.Nevertheless when it comes to sports we are highly topical with this episode. Check it out!Discontinued olympic sportsThe Wikipedia article has a table of all former olympic disciplinesUSACAThe website of the United States of America Cricket AssociationUltimate HighlightsThis Youtube video with a compilation of Ultimate matches will give you an impression of this ultimately quick sport.

  • 61. Name a discipline
    Sun, Jul 08, 2012

    Just in time for the Olympic Games in London we are glad to present our special edition. Peter really enjoys watching the Olympic coverage on TV, but he needs support unravelling some tricky sport jargon terms. Roger can help with that …Olympic SportsThe Wikipedia article lists all former and current Olympic sports along with some background information on their development.Athletics / Track & fieldHere you'll find many of the terms that are hard to understand. Read up on athletics, or - as the Americans call it - track and field.Spear and javelinThe introduction about "The fighting spear" explains the difference between a spear and a javelin.EventingA detailed description of the events again found on Wikipedia

  • 60. English is more pun!
    Sat, Jun 16, 2012

    Are you following the European Championship in football these days? Well, if you like football or if you don’t, we’ve got a little riddle for you, which is based on a pun:What is the difference between the English national football team and a tea bag?To read the solution click here, hold the mouse button and drag your mouse …The tea bag stays in the cup longer!... down here.? List of punsFind some classics here. Puns are rated!If you are looking for puns less suitable for children, we recommend Shakespeare. Check out the dialogue between Gregory and Sampson at the beginning of act 1, scene 1 in "Romeo and Juliet" to find a fun pun. And of course there are more.

  • 59. Punny, ain't it?
    Sun, Apr 01, 2012

    Do you like puns? Then you are in good outdoor retail company with non-prophet organisations! Justin Time we are Shaking Speares at elephants to get down of a duck?Totally confused now? Check out this episode for more delightenment! Shakespeare's "Tragedy of Richard III"Read the opening lines of the first act which have been turned into a sales slogan. Discount TentThis news article deals with the outdoor retailer in financial discontent

  • 58. Ratcheting up on tools
    Thu, Mar 15, 2012

    You have no clue what a ratchet is, what it is used for, and what “ratcheting up” means? Just listen to this Toolbox full words like French key, hammer, saw, axe and lots of others that are useful for home improvement and metaphorical expression.Interactive Tools VocabularyHover the mouse over a tool to see its name and click it to hear how it is pronounced.Zero derivation or ConversionA short article on the linguistic phenomenon of zero derviation; e.g. having a verb derived from a noun without any changes.HammersThe Wikipedia article on hammers contains many more interesting details on that common tool. See also the gallery of different types of hammers and mallets found here.to ax sth.An explanatory entry from the Merriam-Webster Learners' Dictionary

  • 57. The nuts and bolts
    Sun, Jan 15, 2012

    Most of you will know what a screwdriver is. – But have you got any idea what rawlplugs are, or about a Phillips, or a POZIdrive screw?If you ever wondered what the proper names for tools and hardware are, we’ll help you out with this nuts and bolts episode on tools. If you are a handy person this podcast will come in handy, too!John Joseph RawlingRead about the inventor of the rawlplug and watch a little animation to illustrate how it works.Types of screwsThis Wikipedia article lists many many different types of screw drives, not just the three mentioned in our podcast.ScrewdriverIn this article you find a detailed history of the screwdriver and its alternatives.DrillsThere are almost as many types of drills as there are for screws.Yard stickAnd finally, a little complement for our chapter on measuring tools.

  • 56. Do you know it's Christmas?
    Thu, Dec 15, 2011

    Seasons greetings to you all out there in podcast land. We have a new Christmas special for you. Last year we talked about Christmas songs in the seventies. This time Paul Kingsbury is back at the studio to talk about Christmas pop songs in the eighties.Join us for some modern Christmas classics …

  • 55. Trashy rubbish on garbage bags
    Tue, Nov 15, 2011

    Remember how we talked about getting rid of stuff you no longer need in our last episode? This time we are going to delve a bit deeper: There are numerous words for things that you don’t need anymore and their usage varies: People put out their rubbish, garbage or trash. But then people sometimes talk rubbish, but never trash. If you are confused now, you have to listen to this episode. And there will be a little question for you at the end. If you know the answer, feel free to leave a comment and maybe win a little prize.Junk and trashSome notes on the fine differences in this pair of words by a professionalGarbage @ Merriam-WebsterExplore the word field in the online dictionary via the synonyms listMap of US disposal sitesThis page by the Environmental Protection Agency offers an interactive map.

  • 54. Antique attic antics
    Sat, Oct 15, 2011

    RoPeCast is finally back from the summer break! And we are bringing along some insights on how differently people from the UK or the US get rid of the stuff they’ve stored in their attic, cellar or garage.Car boot sales around the UKFind locations of car boot sales all over the UK and some other European countries.Garage salesRead up on the American Garage sale and all the related topics listed on Wikipedia.FreecycleThe modern way of giving away what you don't need without throwing it away.

  • 53. Of Ravens, Rates and Revenue
    Sun, May 15, 2011

    Sarah Jerram is back in the studio. This time she and Peter are musing about possible reasons for the German reluctance to reproduce at a proper rate. Britain however does a much better job at that.Birth rate in GermanyThis page by the Federal Centre for Political Education provides statistical information on the German birth rate. (German)Birth rate in the UKThe Office for National Statistics publishes information on births in BritainIn Germany, a Tradition Falls, and Women RiseThe American view on the German phenomenon as published by the New York Times

  • 52. Swinging and teething the hard way
    Sun, May 01, 2011

    Listen to Sarah Jerram, teacher of English at Saarland university, describing her experiences as a working mother in Germany – from the British perspective. What are the most striking differences when it comes to being a parent in Germany or Britain in comparison? List of Playground EquipmentAdd to your knowledge of playground vocabulary with this article from eHow on playground equipment and toys. "Playground" at WikipediaThe encyclopedia article adds some interesting facts about the history of playgrounds and offers pictures that help you understand what the different designations for toys actually refer to.

  • 51. Rebuilding a Nation
    Fri, Apr 15, 2011

    Puerto Rico isn’t the only region that people argue should be counted towards the United States. Episode 51 tells you about the 51st state and several more. We place the Liberty State, Euphoria and Calisota on your map of the US.Never heard of them? You need to change that … now!More statesHere is the list that this episode was based on.More countiesNot only the United States are larger than commonly assumed. There's also more to Britain than meets the bird's eye! Read about new frontiers on the British Isles and uncharted territory in other parts of the world.CalisotaAn article on the state and its historyGotham CityFind information about the capital of the famous state."Changing Places" in EuphoriaAre you familiar with David Lodge? Read about one of his works in this review.Liberty CityAn extensive article on the famous racing venue.

  • 50. Challenging Symbolic Celebration
    Fri, Apr 01, 2011

    The popular American author Dan Brown is always good at combining mysterious numbers with even more mysterious symbols into puzzling plots.We try something similar for a special occasion. But instead of leaving you puzzled you will have the opportunity to take part in a little challenge. All you have to work out is a simple number! At the same time you’ll get to know some important symbols of English speaking areas all around the globe.Are you up for our heavily symbolic celebration? Will you find the Lost Number? If you do make sure to leave us a comment including your e-mail address.Dan Brown's Lost SymbolAn article about one of Dan Brown's books that the teaser text alludes to. If you like a thrilling read this is another possibility to practise your English!Today's History LessonThe "War of the Roses" was an important period in English history. If you are interested this article will complement one part of our episode with many historic details.Advertising AnimalsHave a look at this short commercial in case you didn't believe that gazelles do play Rugby against flightless birds.Icons of EnglishnessHere you can get to know many more symbols - or icons as they are called here - that stand for England in particular or the UK in general. Many interesting things to discover!U.S. State InsigniaThe episode left you wondering what the national dinosaur of Texas is? Read up here and find out about it.

  • 49. A school day compared
    Tue, Mar 01, 2011

    School systems differ greatly throughout the world. Even between the UK and the US there are some striking differences. In one country, for example, students swear in the morning while in the other they pray. But UK colleges and US high schools also have some things in common.Listen to our comparison of two school days …

  • 48. Privately public
    Tue, Feb 15, 2011

    If the description of school life in your English text book has always puzzled you, now’s the time to come to terms with the British education system. This episode explains how education is structured in the UK, particularly England.And if you are curious about the US system just wait for our next episode …Education in EnglandA comprehensive article on the school system in England"Ten house points for Gryffindor!"You won't believe it, but the details of school life as potrayed in the Harry Potter books and movies are actually quite representative of British boarding schools. Pupils are organised in houses and earn house points for good efforts...

  • 47. Merry Christmas everybody!
    Fri, Dec 24, 2010

    Have you been waiting for our annual Christmas Special? Here it is – from operatic to existentialist. Lean back and get some inspiration for a musical Christmas Eve!

  • 46. Harassing aitches and the heir of the herbs
    Wed, Dec 01, 2010

    “In Hartford, Hereford, and Hampshire, hurricanes hardly ever happen.” – Why did poor Eliza Doolittle struggle so much with this simple sentence? This episode deals with just one letter: An “H” can be quite a hassle, as you will learn.Wikipedia on HQuite a long article for something as simple as a letter of the alphabet.Social Variation in EnglishAn interesting article with listening examples, one of them illustrating the phenomenon "h-dropping".Podcast on American Pronunciation of the HThis podcast about American English pronunciation focuses on our letter of the day in its 28th episode, too.

  • 45. A cracking, twisted topic
    Mon, Nov 15, 2010

    This episode really hurts and will prepare you for the emergency case. You will learn what differences bruised, cracked, strained and sprained body parts make. And why you may not want to ask a passer-by for help with either a contusion or concussion.Ligaments & TendonsLigaments connect different bones with eachother, tendons attach muscles to bones, and - not mentioned in the episode - fasciae link muscles with other muscles.

  • 44. What (not) to do in an emergency
    Mon, Nov 01, 2010

    Peter tells us about his accident on the stairs and we learn how differently hospitals will handle accidents and emergencies in the English speaking world.Emergency DepartmentRead up on the so-called Emergency Department of a hospital on Wikipedia

  • X07 - Goodbye, Philipp!
    Wed, Oct 27, 2010

    RoPeCast is losing a valuable member behind the scenes. Philipp who was responsible for the recording and post production of all our episodes is leaving our team on to pastures new.

  • 43. Moving in
    Wed, Sep 01, 2010

    In our last episode you learned how to read an English housing ad and what houses look like in an English-speaking country.But the inside of your new home can hold some surprises too, especially if you’re moving to a foreign country.In this RoPeCast you’ll learn what to expect when moving in, and why Roger was shocked when he first arrived in Germany.

  • 42. Going home
    Tue, Aug 17, 2010

    Have you ever moved to a new home? Then you’ll know that this can be quite a challenge.Even more so if you move to an English speaking country.But don’t worry, we’ll tell you what kind of houses the British live in and how to read an English housing ad.

  • 41. Twisting your tongue
    Sat, Jul 31, 2010

    Caution: This RoPeCast will twist your tongue. Listen at your own risk.Here’s a preview the type of mind-bending rhymes that await you after the download:She sells sea shells by the seashore.The shells she sells are surely seashells.So if she sells shells on the seashore,I’m sure she sells seashore shells.So, have a go at our tongue twisters and send in your own.But remember: You have been warned.Tongue Twisters at ESLThe guys at ESL have an interactive list of tongue twisters online. Click on a link to go to the tongue twister and recording, listen as often as you want, and give them a try on your own!

  • 40. Baby Slang
    Fri, Jul 16, 2010

    In this final 3rd episode of our mini-series about so called “child directed speech” or “baby talk” we’ll tackle the more delicate issues in talking to small children.You’ll learn what English-speaking Moms say when the diaper is full and what their toddlers cry out when they hurt themselves.Once again you won’t find any of this in your English textbook, so take a listen.Baby VocabularyHere you can find a little list of "vocabulary" - widely-used baby talk words and phrases.

  • 39. Baby poetry
    Thu, Jul 01, 2010

    Not interested in poetry? Well, you used to be!As a baby, you couldn’t get enough of those rhymes. That’s no surprise, some of those lullabies, fingerplays and kneebouncers are all artforms in their own right.Bet you still know a few in your mother tongue but what about English ones?This ropecast features some really famous British and American baby poetry and as a bonus we will teach you how to do the “Itsy-Bitsy-Spider”."Mother Goose" onlineRead "Mother Goose" online at Project Gutenberg.Itsy-Bitsy-SpiderAt babycenter.com you can learn how to do the famous fingerplay.

  • 38. Parentese - How Moms and Dad speak to their Toddlers
    Wed, Jun 16, 2010

    RoPeCast has been all about speaking ever since it saw the light of day about 2 two years ago.Two-year-old children are different, of course, which is why mothers use baby talk to communicate with their toddlers instead of complicated Standard English.Now that our podcast has reached the toddler age, we thought it’s time to invite an expert to learn about so called child directed speech.In this first part of a small series, our guest Bobbye Pernice will tell you the difference between Poppas and Poppies and explain why sissys may drink from sippy cups."Mooly Cow Rhyme"Here you can read the "Mooly Cow Rhyme" which was mentioned in the Episode. The original title is "The Cow-Boy's Song" and it was written by Anna Maria Wells.Choosing your Grandfather NameOn this page you can find an almost endless number of variations on the traditional Grandpa, some evidently caused by childish mispronunciation, some perhaps derived from grandfather names in other languages.

  • 37. Feasting on Words
    Sun, Apr 18, 2010

    Did you know that you can learn a lot about history from food?You can actually learn about aspects of British culture by tracing back when food names came into the English language.How?Find out in this episode of RoPeCast – as long as it’s hot.'Why Nothing Rhymes With Orange'Interesting blogpost by 'The Smithsonian' on the etymology of foods'Meaty Stories'Second part of that blogpost

  • Etymology Quiz
    Mon, Apr 05, 2010

    Happy Easter!Try out our new word quiz by clicking this link: Start the quiz!

  • 36. The ups and downs of words
    Mon, Mar 15, 2010

    Sometimes life is good to you and sometimes things just keep going downhill.This does not only happen to people, words too can go from rags to riches – or fall from grace.This RoPeCast traces back the career paths of some not so succesful words but also introduce you to one that really made it.

  • 35. Around the world with words
    Tue, Mar 02, 2010

    Do you know where the word “pyjamas” comes from?This RoPeCast will take you on a linguistic trip around the globe to find out!Fasten your seatbelts, lean back and we’re ready for take off.

  • 34. To kiss or not to kiss...
    Mon, Feb 15, 2010

    ... that is the question (with apologies to Shakespeare).When to shake hands, to kiss on the cheek, to speak to a stranger – this podcast suggests some dos and don’ts for visitors to Britain.Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English BehaviourA bestseller in the UK, Watching the English is a biting, affectionate, insightful and often hilarious look English Society.

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