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English Teacher John Show 57 – transcript (partial)

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It’s our Africa Safari/Martin Chenhall music CD special and I hope you like it!
In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • Hey, we are back from our African safari and I’m going to share it with you
  • You’ll hear about Martin Chenhall’s new music CD, Remember to Breathe (Martin’s Myspace page)
  • Our new ‘Wikipedia Profile’ segment: The Serengeti (Wikipedia link)
  • Two new idioms: like a fish out of water, monkey business
  • PODnobbin’ with a look at two recent English learning podcast episodes
  • Some famous and not-so-famous quotations

Enjoy and learn!

TRANSCRIPT – partial

Welcome to The English Teacher John Show No. 57, our African Safari and Martin Music special episode. My name is John Koons and I am indeed the host of the English Teacher John Show and our other video and audio podcasts. Right here in the wild savannah of Matsumoto, Japan, I create and produce the video and audio content on our website.

Hey everyone … you know what? … I’ve really missed doing this podcast, and I’ve missed all of you, our listeners. Yeah, really. I’ve been out on a few adventures, bouncing around in Landcruisers in Kenya and Tanzania, swimming with dolphins in Zanzibar … my holiday in March was really, really something special. Well, now the students here in Japan are back to school, I’m back to work and back in the classroom and I’m ready to roll. Get your binoculars ready — no, we’re not going to be chasing rhinos, elephants or buffalo — but we are going to be working togther to improve your English language skills.

Okay, let me give you all a quick summary of our recent trip to Africa. My wife and I flew from Nagoya, Japan to Dubai — that’s Dubai — in the U.A.E., United Arab Emirates. We had about a four-hour layover in Dubai, then we flew to Nairobi in Kenya, East Africa. I think Nagoya to Dubai was about 10 or 11 hours, and Dubai to Nairobi was maybe five hours or a little bit more. So we had a little bit of flying time to get to Africa from Japan.

We hadn’t booked any hotels, safaris or anything else so we had to kind of organize our thoughts and our trip once we arrived in Nairobi. Anyway, we found a tour company and we did a 3-day safari in an area of Kenya called the Masai Mara. And, that is the home of many animals and the Masaai people; it’s their traditional lands. I think I spent about 20 or 25 hours with my head peeking up through the roof of our landcruiser. I was just completely gazing in awe at all the elephants, lions, buffalo, gazelles, impala, topi, zebras, cheetahs and yes, we even saw a leopard — and a bunch of other animals that I can’t remember right now, like baboons. You know, I had been dreaming about African wildlife for so many years and it was really something special to be right there right in the middle of it, so close to those wild animals that you can hear them breathing and you can look into their eyes.

My wife and I moved on to Tanzania after Kenya, Tanzania is just to the south of Kenya, and it’s famous for Mt. Kilimanjaro and the Serengeti and other great safari places. In Tanzania, we did a 4-day safari and that took us into the Serengeti and also the United Nations World Heritage area that’s called the Ngorongoro Crater. (Can you say that?) Once again, we saw many, many elephants, giraffes, zebras, gazelles and we especially saw a bunch of hippos and crocodiles, too. One of Africa’s most endangered animals is the rhinoceros and we were very lucky to see six or seven black rhinos in Ngorongoro Crater. And, these were all camping safaris also, so we were camping in tents out in the wild. Yes, a really great experience.

After our safari in Tanzania, we took a long bus ride, then a ferry, and we ended up on the island of Zanzibar. Zanzibar always had such a mystical sound to it. Actually, before this trip, I wasn’t even sure where it was! Yes, it is in fact a part of Tanzania, and the “zan,” the Z-A-N in the name Tanzania actually stands for Zanzibar. An East African area that was colonized by the Germans and then the British was called “Tanganyika”, and it gained its independence — I think in the early 60s — and shortly thereafter it merged with Zanzibar. So, TANganyika and ZANzibar became the Republic of Tan-zan-ia.

Zanzibar’s a wonderful place; the old town is called Stonetown and it’s also a World Heritage site. It’s a great place to wander these little narrow, winding streets and alleys and you just take in a mix of cultures: African, Arab, Indian and European — just a great mix of people, culture, food, music, everything you can imagine.

I think the sea is about as crystal clear and blue as anywhere I’ve ever seen in person or on TV — just really, really clear water. I did some scuba diving there, some snorkeling, and Tomoko and I had a great time swimming with dolphins. That was really a wonderful thing to do, to be so close to them.

I posted a few photos on my flickr account, and my flickr username is, of course, english teacher john, no spaces. Okay, well, have a look at some of those photos and send me your comments if you like, and let me know what you think.

Alright, let’s move to the show index for today’s show number 57.


We’ve got 5 segments in today’s show.

Intro – African Safari
1. Music News – Martin Chenhall’s new CD – Remember to Breathe
2. Wikipedia profile – Serengeti
3. Idioms (2) – like a fish out of water, monkey business
4. PODnobbin’ – check out 2 English learning podcasts
5. Famous and not-so-famous Quotations

Alright. Let’s get on with the show!

SEGMENT 1 – Music News: Martin Chenhall’s new CD – Remember to Breathe
SEGMENT 2 – Wikipedia Profile – Serengeti


A. a fish out of water
B. monkey business

It’s idiom time and I’d like to keep with our safari theme today (well, kind of!)

[idiom 1: a fish out of water]

Our first idiom is: a fish out of water, or as many Americans would probably say it: a fish outta water. Hey, I love exercise but a friend took me to this TV Watchers Convention. I felt like a fish outta water. Like a fish outta water. Yes, I felt strange and maybe uncomfortable because I was in an unfamiliar place or situation, with unfamiliar people that I didn’t have anything in common with.

Susan and Jim live in the countryside but they had to spend a month in the big city — with the noise, crowds, traffic and bright lights. They were like a couple of fish outta water.
(with an unfamiliar group of people, or in an unfamiliar or even undesirable place or situation … a fish out of water, or a fish outta water).

[idiom 2: monkey business]

Now, let’s move on to our second idiom: monkey business. Our neighbors don’t have jobs but they just bought two brand new cars. Hmmm, I think there’s a little monkey business going on. Do you think it means ‘honest behavior’? No! It means that something doesn’t sound right or make sense, like maybe’s there’s something dishonest, illegal or fraudulent going on. The owner just took out a big insurance policy on his new restaurant, and the it burns down a few months later. Really??? Sounds like a little monkey business to me!

SEGMENT 4 – PODnobbin’
SEGMENT 5 – Quotations

–> more of this transcript is coming soon.

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