Episode 2

“For me, going into Ryman’s [stationery shop] is the most extreme sexual experience one could ever have” – Morrissey


Lindsay's pencil case

Lindsay’s pencil case


In this episode we discuss stationery. Lindsay and Shaun talk pens and pencil cases, before discovering the secret life of Microsoft’s Clippy. We also talk to Sinéad Laffan​ about her favourite ELT books and dessert (yes, really) and finish with an activity using paperclips.


The voxopops make for an authentic listening.

You could, for example, match the speaker to thing mentioned. Or ask questions like how many different things are mentioned, what reasons do people give for liking their stationery and so on.

Lindsay’s history of the pen.

Pens appear in quite a few coursebooks, you could supplement that lesson with Lindsey’s long turn.
Make a set of true or false statements for example:

  1. Originally fountain pens used India Ink.
  2. Indian Ink dries quickly.
  3. The first patent for a ballpoint pen was in 1880
  4. Biro was a newspaper journalist.
  5. He lived in Germany during the war.
  6. The pen became popular in Argentina.
  7. The Royal air force didn’t like the pen.
  8. NASA used pencils not pens.
  9. Pens were expensive because they were ‘new technology’.
  10. Bich was an American who made cheap pens.

The Books on the Dessert Island were:

Sound foundations

Teaching Unplugged

Here is a simple recipe for Rhubarb Crumble

Speaking of books, this is the one on stationery that Shaun mentioned:

Adventures in Stationery by James Ward

And yes Clippy does star in his own erotic novel…..

Should you want to see the buzzfeed photos, go here 


Further sources for the different ways to use a paperclip the end of podcast activity.




Listen to episode 2 here:


See you for episode three on names!

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