Get Creative In Quarantine And Learn To Speak English While You Do Ep 314

A photograph of a family spending time together painting and decorating. With more and more people being asked to stay at home, what are we going to do with that spare time?

📝 Author: Hilary

📅 Published:

🎈 Updated On:

💬 2280 words ⏳ Reading Time 12 min

Learn To Speak English While Your Stuck At Home

The UK is finally getting serious about limiting person-to-person contact to help prevent the spread of the Wuhan Virus. This is making it difficult for us to keep Adept English running, but not impossible. We expect to get our podcasts out as we normally do, they just may be a little later some days. So please keep listening.

With so many people self isolating at home, keeping yourself and your family, friends and partners entertained is definitely a challenge. Today we talk about what we are doing and what other people have said they are doing to keep themselves busy while locked away in the house.

Although this is more of an informal English conversation, what we would call a chat, the vocabulary and ideas are all valuable, it will definitely help you if you are spending some of your free time learning to speak English fluently.

Thank you for the emails we’ve received and comments on YouTube and Facebook, we wish you all well in these challenging times, look after yourselves and those close to you. Be positive, worry about the things you can change and try to ignore the things you cannot change and let’s all use the time we have to do something positive.

Most Unusual Words:


Most common 3 word phrases:

A Lot Of5
To Touch Type3
In The UK3
Many Of Us3
Around The World2

Listen To The Audio Lesson Now

The mp3 audio and pdf transcript for this lesson is now part of the Adept English back catalogue . You can still download and listen to this lesson as part of one of our podcast bundles.

Transcript: Get Creative in Quarantine And Learn To Speak English While You Do

Hi there and welcome to this podcast from Adept English. We are here to provide you with English language listening material to help you increase your understanding and your fluency in spoken English.

Not going out

There’s been a lot of bad news this week about the virus. It’s really beginning to affect all of our lives. It’s easy to get caught up in it, especially if you watch the news all the time. And in the UK, we are just on the point of lock down. This means the schools have now been closed. It’s been decided that bars, restaurants, gyms, theatres, nightclubs will all close too. Those who can, have adapted to working from home – and school children will be receiving their lessons online, where possible.

My family in France have to fill in an official form, a piece of paper before they go outside their houses. And they must tick one of the following boxes – to say either that they’re going to work, they’re buying food, they’re attending medical appointments or the pharmacy, they’re attending to vulnerable relatives or children. Or that they’re taking exercise just outside their house or their building or that they’re attending to animals outside. These are the only reasons that you’re allowed to go out.


So given that for many of us in Europe and in other places around the world – South Korea, Iran, Hong Kong all come to mind as well as Wuhan – given that many of us are confined to our homes, yet we’re well, how shall we entertain ourselves in the coming weeks? This is important as it not only passes the time, but takes peoples minds off worrying about the pandemic. It’s also important for our mental health that we’ve got nice things to do.

How to entertain ourselves, while we’re stuck at home

Well, it goes without saying, if you’re listening to this podcast that you’re working on your English language skills. But what else can you do? You could take advantage of the internet and some free time – and get in contact with other people who want to learn a language. Remember me suggesting previously that in order to convert your understanding of English into speaking English more fluently, you need to practise and what better way that with an online language partner? It’s also interesting in these times to speak with other people around the world and find out what life is like in their country, what’s going on for them.

My favorite things in life don't cost any money. It's really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.
⭐ Steve Jobs, Apple Founder

Music as entertainment and as protest

Some of the best videos I’ve seen recently are those coming out of Italy, where people in blocks of flats are singing, serenading each other and joining in, singing the Italian national anthem in particular, some banging pots and pans to the music. I love this and what spirit in the middle of what people in Italy are facing! There are videos too of people in Brazil in apartments also banging pots and pans – but these people are in protest against their president, whom they don’t feel is handling the current situation with the virus very well. But both examples of people united in their feeling….and using song.


A close up photograph of a mans hands while playing his guitar.

©️ Adept English 2020

So I wonder how many of us will pick up musical instruments during this period indoors? We have a piano and a guitar, a ukelele and a couple of recorders in our house, none of which get played very much normally. What a good thing it would be to spend more time playing. There are people giving guitar lessons on YouTube for free – why not follow one of these people and make music? And when in the future would you have so much time to practise?

Learn to cook

Cooking is going to be a big part of our lives during the next few weeks. With more time on our hands and less food available in the shops, we will have to do more what we call ‘cooking from scratch’. The phrase ‘cooking from scratch’ in English means cooking from the start, cooking from basic or raw ingredients. You may be thinking ‘What other way is there?’, but in the UK we do take short cuts or we buy a lot of ready-made food, which you just heat in the oven. But today for instance, there was no bread in the supermarket – and we needed to use up some vegetables – so it was home made soup and home made bread for our dinner.

There wouldn’t normally be time for that. The other idea that occurred to me – teaching my son to cook. Both my daughters, who are older already cook. But this period off school could be the opportunity to do some cooking with my son. I’ve complained before that they don’t really teach proper cooking in British schools any more – so my opportunity to teach it and his opportunity to learn and a good way to pass time.

Paint and draw

With my daughter, we’ve made sure that we’ve got enough art materials – A-R-T, art. Both of us enjoy painting and drawing – and again it’s something that I don’t usually have time to do. Landscapes, pictures of the countryside or of towns in acrylic paints – that’s my interest. And it’s a good way to pass time.

Read books or decorate the house?

It goes without saying almost, that this time is opportunity to read books. I’ve certainly got a lot of books – many of them on psychotherapy and understanding human beings – so I have reading to get on with. But I also have a number of novels – books which are fiction, F-I-C-T-I-O-N, which means story books rather than fact books. There will be time to get on and read those. I’ve also bought paint, P-A-I-N-T of a different kind, for decorating the house. So that if we’re indoors for a really long time, I may get around to painting the woodwork in the house – that means the doors and the windowsills may get a coat of white paint. ‘May’ I said huh– let’s see how I feel!

Grow plants – outdoors or indoors

We’re also lucky in that we have a garden. So when the weather gets a little warmer – it’s freezing cold still at the moment – when the weather gets a little warmer, going out and doing the garden will be very enjoyable and will pass the time. There’s a lot to do because I don’t tend to garden in winter, so it’s not been touched since last autumn. But if you’re in lock down because of the virus and you don’t have a garden, it can feel quite difficult. My niece lives in a tiny flat on the fourth floor of a building in Paris, with her partner and two small boys.

It’s really difficult for her not going out. But I know that she makes the most of her two small balconies – there are usually flowers on the balconies and indoors there are houseplants, which make a small flat seem much nicer. So getting busy with houseplants and growing things is also a good way to pass the time. Sometimes making more plants from the ones you have is a good activity. I have a friend who likes to grow unusual plants from seeds or stones, pips from fruit or vegetables, which are bought as food. There’s a challenge! Can you grow an avocado or a garlic bulb in your kitchen?

Play games

If you’ve got older children, it’s good for them to spend some time apart from you. Lots of computer games will be played over the next few weeks. But when you’re together, why not find some old board games? ‘Board games’, so that’s B-O-A-R-D games are the sorts of games that you can play with others on the top of a table – or on a ‘board’. So chess, C-H-E-S-S, ludo, Monopoly – that kind of thing. I’m sure we’ve all got boxes of board games hidden away somewhere in our houses. In the UK, there’s a bit a of resurgence of interest in board games. Young people like them – and you can actually join boardgame clubs or go to boardgame evenings. If you have six dice – they’re the cubes with spots on the side – you could learn how to pay Yatzee – that’s spelt Y-A-T-Z-E-E – and you can print out or copy your YATZEE scorepad from online.

Watch series, learn to knit, sew, computer coding – or touch typing

I’m sure during this period, that we’ll all watch a lot of TV. There’ll be the news, of course, but also for those of us who have access to Netflix or similar services, it’s time perhaps to get into watching a different series. Another thing that I really enjoy is YouTube – learning how to do things. YouTube is massively educational – there are all kinds of things that you can learn how to do using YouTube. Learn to knit or sew. Or what about learning to code on your computer? Or if you don’t know how to do this already, what about learning to touch type? ‘To touch type’ means when you can type the letters into your computer or your laptop– without looking at your hands, without looking at your fingers. You just automatically know where the right keys are. If you learn to touch type when you’re young, it saves you a lot of time over the course of your life!

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An idea for your children...

One lady got in contact with Andrew at Adept English last week, to say that she was going to use the time that her children were off school in Germany to get them to do the Adept English 500 Most Common Words Course. What a good idea! If you have basic English vocabulary, then our Most Common Five Hundred Words Course will help you grow in confidence and understanding in English.


Keep safe. I hope you stay well – and I hope that you and your family stay entertained, and that you make the most of this time. Make the best of it.

Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.

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