Bitesize Episode 21 - How to talk about your hometown

Charlie Baxter

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What's this episode about?

Learn British English in this episode where Charlie, your host, focuses on vocabulary that is particularly useful when talking about your hometown. Charlie answers a bunch of questions about his own hometown. So you will get to hear his response using many native expressions related to the hometown in general and better understand how to score top marks in an English speaking test like the IELTS Test.
This is a bitesize episode that will give you your fix of The British English Podcast with plenty of native expressions for you to learn from in context. Enjoy!
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By Charlie Baxter

Bitesize Episodes (17-32)
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Transcript of Bitesize Ep 21 Transcript

Hello and welcome to the British English podcast with your host, Charlie Baxter. Today we have a bite sized episode and this one is going to be focussing on topic specific vocabulary for talking about your hometown. This is because I run a course called The IELTS Speaking Course on my website, the British English podcast Dot Com. and many non-natives need to pass this test in order to do, well a variety of things, like go to a university of their choice, get a visa to live abroad or apply for a job in a certain company. Now, I really do know testing language skills in general has its flaws. But after seven to eight years of teaching English, I believe the IELTS test is the one that mimics conversational fluency the best. And so I wanted to make a course for learners to improve their score in the IELTS test. The main problem is that test prep in general, though, is a bit dull. It's a bit boring. So I decided to get my friend Harry heavily involved in the making of the course to give it a more conversational and occasionally slightly more fun tone than your average test prep material. Now, many of you won't be needing Prep for a test, but hear me out.

As I said, I think the IELTS test, particularly the speaking part, tries to mimic conversational fluency. And because of that, improving your IELTS Speaking score is in many ways like improving your speaking skills. And one technique that we've mentioned on this podcast before with Pete from Aussie English is the Vocabulary Islands analogy. The idea that you want to build on these islands of vocabulary, imagine each topic of conversation is an island, and the weaker your vocabulary around that topic, the smaller the island. So we want to grow that island nice and wide, and to do that, we focus on topic specific vocabulary. And as I said, today's episode is focussing on the topic of your hometown. So Harry is about to give me a bunch of questions around the topic of my hometown, and you will get to hear my response to better understand how to score top marks or certainly very high marks in the IELTS test. And also you'll get exposure to more than 40 native expressions, and many of them are topic specific to help you build on that hometown vocabulary island. So whether you're interested in the IELTS exam or not, this episode is going to be very useful indeed. So enjoy listening to a bunch of model answers for part one of the speaking exam specifically focussing on the topic of your hometown.

So we're going to do some questions about your hometown now, right? Can you tell me where is your hometown?

I hail from a quintessentially British village called Horsley. I do believe even won an award several years back for being the most well-kept village in the UK. So make what you will about that.


And I have created a worksheet for you to access for free that covers some of the vocabulary and definitions in this video. If you would like to access it, all you need to do is click the link in the description box. You enter your name and your email address, and then you will immediately get access to a bunch of free resources. I have taken a long time to make for you, so click that link in the description box that says free worksheets, and you can enjoy that whilst consuming this episode.

And OK, and do you like your hometown?

My hometown has just one cafe and I quickly get bored of that. But having said that, there is something truly satisfying about the fact that everyone knows each other, and being known by everyone in a small village is quite enjoyable, especially when I come back to visit and some old faces say hello. But if I stay too long, I start to get itchy feet and want to get away. Hmm. Pff. Sorry I spat on the iPad.

No that was fine. What?

I spat on the iPad

Oh, OK. And do you like visiting your hometown?

Several years ago, I could have said no, but now that would be a lie I found when living in America and Chile, it was particularly hard comparatively to where I live now, which is Germany, although it's only in retrospect that I've noticed how much I appreciate being able to pop home for the weekend every now and then. And it certainly increased now that there's a new member of the family to see grow up. So yeah. Praise the Lord for cheap airline tickets from Ryanair.

And what is your hometown like?

So my little village goes by the name of Horsley, and it's in the heart of the leafy county, Surrey, which neighbours the London borough to the southwest. It's well known for its middle class golf club members, and the county has some lovely canals, including the extension of the River Thames that offers some beautiful countryside with some walks that you can take over these cute little locks and bridges and of course, stopping off at some brilliantly British carvery houses. So it's a wonderful village in the countryside, if you like that kind of thing.

And what is the oldest place in your hometown?

Hmm. The oldest thing in Horsley, my grandma probably no joking. She's no longer with us. Rest in peace, granny b. She's in a good place. No, the oldest place in my hometown is hard to pin down, actually, because it's a village, it doesn't have too much of an infrastructure. The parade of shops in the middle of the village look like they could be from the Tudor era, but I could be wrong. My parents house was built during the war, and in fact, I heard it was a chicken farm before. So perhaps my house is what helped feed the villagers during the darkest periods of the war. So. We could say that my house is the reason that Horsley still exists,

Right. Ok.

We rudely interrupt your viewing experience because you absolutely have to get our brand new free e-book and audiobook that will help anyone dramatically improve their IELTS speaking score. Click the link in the top right corner of the screen now or find it in the description box below. Back to your viewing experience in three two one.

and how could your hometown be improved?

I reckon the village where I grew up could be significantly improved with a handful more cafes. If it were to have a bank again, that would be very useful. It seemed to be the talk of the town when the banks packed up shop and left us stranded with our cash. And another improvement would, of course, be a gym. There are a couple of leisure centres that are twenty five minutes away either side, but it still puts me off working out regularly.

You at a gym! Ok, and has your home town changed much since you were a child?

To be honest, I really don't know if my younger self's version of my parents' hometown is accurate to compare with my slightly more mature version. Firstly, because when you're young, everything seems so big to you. I seem to remember that the park adjacent to my primary school was humongous, but having grown up, I now see it as nothing more than a small patch of grass. And the same applies to the parade of shops in the high street of the village. Once seen as gigantic department stores are now your bog standard corner shops. But one thing that is unrelated to my warped opinions is the increase in residential areas. A lot more houses have been built. Thus the population of the village has almost doubled, meaning the corner shops may indeed need to develop into department stores. After all.

Right. Ok. And what is there for a foreigner to do and see in your hometown?


Ok, that's a pity.

I'm not sure if I can suggest anything worthy for a tourist to come and experience in this tiny nook of the countryside, but actually come to think of it. They had an annual county show that was worth a visit when I was a kid. Although the foreigner we are suggesting this outing to may want to brush up on their horticulture and agriculture before going so that they have some common ground or some talking points with the locals. It's funny now, looking back, I thought that going to these shows to validate who has the best flock of sheep or the neatest looking pony was the norm of society. Evidently, this is not the case, and if I had known, perhaps I would have put up more of a protest from having to go anyway back to answering the question. I wouldn't say my parents hometown is a tourist trap by any means, although having been kept in a beautiful condition, I would say that if you wanted to have a break from the hustle and bustle of city life, then Horsley is your next port of call.

Right? And is there good public transport in your town?

If you if you class walking as public transport, then sure that village has cracking options. Oh no wait, it does have a bus service that can take you onto the next village if for some reason you wanted to explore another uneventful village. Actually, I think I've jumped the gun there with my answer, because Horsley does actually have a direct train straight into London or the nearest town, Guildford, so perhaps I shouldn't have been too harsh a judge on the innocent little place. So yeah, all things considered now, my knee jerk reaction should be less sarcastic. I'll go with it has a mediocre to good public transport system in place for a village. All right.

Okay. And final question now, do you think your hometown is a good place to bring up children?

Hmm. So this is where my little leafy village scores highly, perhaps even full marks. My sister has just had a baby and decided to move out of London and back to our childhood village called Horsley. My mum was positively thrilled by this news, by the way, and I'm sure she would sacrifice her left arm for all of her children to do the same. Alas, my eldest sister is building a house for her and her fiancé in Australia, so I doubt that will happen. But back to Horsley, it not only has some of the best state schools in the county, the parks are ubiquitous, the roads are really safe, health care seems to be pretty sound and if you hadn't heard yet there is a phenomenal annual county show. So all in all, a wonderful place to raise a child.

Ok, thank you very much for your answers. Thank you.

Ok, so what you just heard was the bloopers, meaning the mistakes or parts of the recordings that were not good enough for the real thing. So if you thought that video was useful for you in regards to improving your IELTS speaking score, then we have created a full course that will interest you as we have even better answers with the target language being visually highlighted as it comes up, then review videos going over the target language in a really thorough and enjoyable way to make your preparation for the IELTS exam fun and enjoyable. We also have a ton of learning resources that go with it, like quizzes, glossaries, flashcards, writing assignments and technique videos and many more things. And to top it all off. There are IELTS workshops being held twice a month for every single student who attends this course. So if this sounds like it would help you, then head over to and then you can try out the free sample. Learn a ton of information from that free sample and then decide if you want to join in on the fun. That's all from us for today. See you next time.

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Transcript of SAMPLE Premium Podcast Player

Podcast host: Charlie:
This will be quite a bit harder for you to understand, as there are a number of accents in the conversation, some poorly delivered at times, as you will notice.

Podcast host: Charlie:
But the aim is to give you a variety of dialects in one conversation and some dialogue to give you native expressions in context. So enter, if you will, to Charlie's pub and his imaginary world.

Character: Mike:
Alright geezer, how's it going?

Character: Chris:
Yes, I'm well thanks. How about you? Have you had a good day?

Character: Mike:
Can't say good mate. No my old man he's been giving me a right old earful for what happened on site last week.

Character: Chris:
Oh that's a pity. Are you back on your dad's building project again?

Character: Mike:
Sad to say mate, but yeah, I am. Couldn't resist this one though. Cash in hand, you know.

Character: Chris:
Oh fair play, hard to resist those I imagine. Oh, here she is.

Character: Emily:
Oh, hi.

Character: Chris:
I was wondering if you're ever going to join us tonight.

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About Your Teacher

Charlie Baxter

Teacher, Podcast Host, YouTuber
Charlie is the host and creator of The British English Podcast & Academy. He has also been an active YouTube English Teacher since 2016 but after seeing how many of his students wanted a more structured, carefully designed way to study he decided to create The British English Podcast Academy.

It focuses on British culture, informal expressions, accent and history that is all unique to the UK.

Charlie has spent 6000+ hours teaching intermediate-advanced students since 2014 privately on Skype and has seen a lot of different styles of learning and while he believes there will never be a single CORRECT way to improve your English there are a large number of methods that people use that do waste people's time and prevent them from improving quickly.

So Charlie decided to create The Academy because he believes he knows a VERY effective way to improve your English quickly and enjoyably.