« Previous | Main | Next »

Welcome Sophea

Post categories:

Callum Callum | 15:08 UK time, Friday, 7 October 2011

Hello Sophea and welcome to the Learning English blogs.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Callum and I'm one of the producers here at BBC Learning English. I was an English teacher for many years before I started working for the BBC in 1998.

It's been a long time since my last blog - over a year in fact. That was when my son was just over a year old.

He's now 2 ½ years old. So we both have a 2-year-old. How is yours? Is he well-behaved? Does he talk a lot and is he the most wonderful and the most annoying person you know?

Being a parent is great but it can get frustrating at times, particularly when your child begins to get more independent and doesn't always do what you say!

Anyway, perhaps that's a topic for another day.

The subject of your blog was very interesting – communication between couples.

Note that it is an 'interesting' topic rather than an 'interested' topic, as you wrote. These adjectives are often confused. 'Interested' is used to talk about your feeling about something whereas 'interesting' is a quality of the thing being described. So, I am interested in your interesting topic!

At the beginning of the blog you wrote: "I am delight to work with children." Delight is the right base word here, but not the right form. Which do you think is correct - delighted or delightful?

I found your blog very easy to follow. There weren't many mistakes at all but I did notice you had a few problems with articles. I'm guessing that in your language you don't have articles, is that right?

Here are some suggestions for you

the capital city of the Cambodia = the capital city of Cambodia

How nice just stay at home and read book = How nice just to stay at home and read a book

even for the every day life = even for everyday life

Articles are a complicated issue for many learners, particularly if they are not a feature of your mother tongue.

As for your topic about communication – it is a fascinating one. Poor communication so often leads to misunderstandings in all areas of life but in a relationship it can make your day-to-day life very difficult.

Some people think that the British are very reserved and don't like to express their feelings and are therefore poor communicators. This may be true for some but perhaps it is more a stereotype from bygone days. Is it a national characteristic? Does it depend on your gender? Or perhaps it's one's age and upbringing that dictates how well you communicate.

I'm not a sociologist or an expert in human nature so I don't know the answer, I'm afraid – but it is an interesting subject!

Well I hope you have a great weekend and I'm looking forward to your next blog.

Here's a little exercise to practise some of the points I've mentioned, followed by some useful vocabulary.

For each question choose the best option.

It was a really interested / interesting film.

I gave my presentation today. I must have been really bored / boring. Five people fell asleep.

I think museums are fascinated / fascinating.

I'm thinking of going to China / the China for a holiday.


not showing feelings or expressing emotions easily

a stereotype
a view of a race or a type of person which many people believe but which is usually not true

bygone days
a period of time in the past

your gender is your sex, whether you are male or female

the experiences you have as a child and the education you get when you are growing up

decides, has a strong influence on


  • Comment number 1.

    Hi callom,
    nice to meet you. I've already done your aquintaince following bbc learning english. I'm studying your blog since one year and I want to tell you that your job is great. I learnt a lot of things and I improved my pronunciation thank to six minute english. today I can follow the whole explanation. Thing that I can't do last october.
    In my wiew the aswers are:
    1) It was a really interesting film
    2) I gave my presentation today. I must have been really bored. Five people fell asleep
    3) I think museums are fascinating
    4) I'm thinking of going to China for a holiday

    See you soon

  • Comment number 2.

    Hello Callum,

    It's nice you have a little child. I think he is the apple of your eye.
    I have a daughter as well, soon aged two. She is very cute. I love her.

    By the way, my answer to your question is the same as max's one, but for that in question 2, which I think "boring", as the person who get five people tired to have them asleep was nobody but "I".

  • Comment number 3.

    Hello Callum,

    Hope you're doing well and having a relaxing weekend. I just can't believe that it's been over a year since your last entry in this wonderful blog. But that's how it is now, and time flies, indeed.

    In fact, I have been following your programs, and indeed other staff of the BBC LE since 2006, and that was when I first started learning English as a second language. And I just can't imagine how my English would be without this extremely useful website.

    As always, your great job is very much appreciated, and I am sure I'll improve my English as time passes by.

    I haven't got much to tell you, Callum, but I'd like to say a huge, warm welcome back to the blog again.

    All the very best,


  • Comment number 4.

    Hi Callum
    Nice to meet you again ! It ' great to read your lines . I 'm looking forward reading your father hood update ! I have two cheeky monkey, one is 8.5 years old and the second is 3 years old so when you say your son is the most wonderful and the most annoying person , I deeply know what you mean ! Here are my answers
    1 ) interesting
    2 ) boring
    3 ) fascinating
    4) china
    Although I used to hear your voice in BBC LE programs I think recently I haven't heard your voice so much ! Am I right ?
    Pary from Iran

  • Comment number 5.

    Hello Callum,
    nice to meet you. I know some of your programs which are really good, and so does this blog. As for my answers:
    1: It was a really interesting film.
    2: I gave my presentation today. I must have been really boring. Five people fell asleep.
    3: I think museums are fascinating.
    4: I'm thinking of going to China China for a holiday.
    Have a nice day,

  • Comment number 6.

    Hi Callum!

    It's a pleasure for me to hear (to read) about you. I always listen to six minute English and hear your voice asking a tricky question at the beginning of the program that is answered only at the end of the story. I'm so sorry for your colleague as she hasn't been able to answer correctly these questions for the past few weeks. To be honest, I couldn't find the right answer too. Ok, they are very very tricky ones. I hope you will write and help us more as a teacher blogger in the future.

    All the best, Attila

  • Comment number 7.

    Thanks Callum for your valuable comments. I am delightful with it. Yes, I always have a problem with article. It is difficult to study it.. However, I will try all my best to learn

  • Comment number 8.

    Hi, Callum.
    I'm very pleased to view your foto. I've been listening to BBC LE audio materials and scripts for two months and I really like your voice tone and clear, exact, sharp and perfect pronunciation in English We Speak and Six Minute English. I also like series of reports and language explanations Weekender in which I listen to your voice too. And I was poundering about your appearance and imaging your hair cowlick :) I'm a happy father too, I've had a status of father for two years and eight months, I was gifted twins by God – a boy and a girl. I stongly believe that being a good father to one's children is the most valuable character feature for a man.
    I want to be a student blogger on BBC Learning English and I am going to write a letter to put my reasons for it. I am very happy to have English learning suggestions and corrections on my future blogs by so qualified and intellegent person like you, Callum Robertson.

    Alexandr Morozov from Donetsk, Ukraine

  • Comment number 9.

    HI Callum!
    It's such a pleasure to write in your blog. In fact, when I saw "Teacher blog of October is Callum",I thought I must participate to learn about your tips.

    Your son- Oh my God, what a lovely boy with red hair! Blessings!!
    About our assignment, I also follow Max's answers. You're right for us as learners is confusing the use of articles, especially definite article, but soon I reviewed this topic and I feel confident at using:)
    I will follow your comments in the blog.
    With my warmest greetings to you,


  • Comment number 10.

    Thanks everyone for your greetings. It's very nice to hear them.

    @Pary: yes, you're right. I've been away working on other projects for a while which is why I haven't been involved in so many programmes recently.

    @Abdi: It's great you've been following our website for so long. You must be a very dedicated student! Well done and I hope you continue to find useful and interesting content here.

    @Alexandr: You can see me on video here as well - although I don't have my glasses on! Video Words in the News

    @Tadassa: His hair is a lot less red now, it's more blond these days - but he's still a lovely boy!

    Find the correct answers to the questions in my next blog.


  • Comment number 11.

    Hi Callum,

    I've just heard the video news. It was a good idea to watch the report and listen to the text at the same time. Only one thing that I want to mention concerning the today's news. I don't like the monument of Christ in Rio. I don't like the statues that are too monumental and big showing their figures being great and big. Christ is great in himself so, I think, he doesn't need to show him bigger. He can't be intensified. Anywhere may be built statues of Christ even bigger than in Rio, but it doesnt mean that his historical (and religious) figure will be bigger or less. For Christians he is the unique one -- that's it, and nothing to add.

  • Comment number 12.

    Dear Callcum:

    I have learned a lot from your comments on Sophea's writing, but I was a little confused just after your comment on 'interested' and 'interesting'. You say "These adjectives are often confused". Confused or confusing?
    I hope you can clarify this! VK

  • Comment number 13.

    Hi Callum,
    Thank you for your clarification between interesing and interested. i have recently started to read blogs in bbc website and still surfing to know more about it. However, i have found the learning english blog is a good way to improve writing, gain knowledge about different topics as well as share my experience with other people.
    The answer of your questions as follows
    1. It was really interesting film.
    2. I gave my presentation today. I Must have been really boring. Five people fell asleep.
    3. I think museums are fascinating.
    4. I am think of going to China for a holiday.



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.