It Was Real

Sometimes you overhear something special.

by Laura Gary

Transcript of Layer Cake Podcast Episode #2

Welcome to Layer Cake!

I'm your host, Dr. Angela Brumett, and this is your English fluency podcast. Layer Cake is sponsored by Parlay Vacay English Immersion Weekends. Build your English fluency online and in person at beautiful and relaxing destinations.

Layer Up your English!

You can listen to Layer Cake on your favorite podcast app, or go to Parlay where you'll also find podcast notes, more about our guests, and learn all the new vocabulary and phrases in the content of our show.

And with that out of the way, let's get started!

For this episode, Layer Cake is honored to feature the work of American journalist Laura Gary. Check out this piece and its useful English learning notes on our web site at

Layer Cake presents "It was Real" by Laura Gary.

My daughter and her friend were playing with plastic toy animals. Some represented real animals like horses and elephants, while others lived on the opposite end of reality like dragons and unicorns.

"We saw a real dragon at the zoo in New Orleans," my daughter said. Then she clarified, “We saw a Komodo dragon.”

"Well, we saw a real, live dinosaur," her friend shot back.

My daughter sat up straight and gave her friend The Look.

"Really? What was it? A T-Rex? Or a triceratops?" she asked. "What color was it?"

"I don't know," her friend stammered, "but it was real. It was chasing a truck."

"Do you have pictures?" my daughter inquired.

"I think so," her friend said. "It was REAL."

"Well, I need to see those pictures," my daughter declared.

I don't know if investigative journalism skills are something that can be passed down through genetics, but I am so, so proud.

Did you hear any new words or phrases? Check out the transcript and the fluency builder lesson online at parlay

Laura Gary

Laura Gary is a freelance and investigative journalist in Lafayette, Louisiana. She graduated from the University of Louisiana with a B.S. in Journalism.

Layer Up your English!

These items may be useful before and/or after listening to the recorded episode.

Key concepts are followed by the Vocabulary and Phrases then Questions for understanding and Discussion Topics.

Items are presented in the order they appear and are defined only as used in the featured piece (other uses may exist).

Key Concepts

investigative journalism: a form of written reporting which requires thorough research, commonly focused on uncovering hidden or controversial information

passed down through genetics: inherited genetically or received biologically through genes

The Look: a facial expression well known to indicate a certain emotion or message

Vocabulary & Phrases

opposite end of reality: the least real, unreality, or false

New Orleans: major US city located in the southern state of Louisiana

dragon: a mythical monster reptile which typically breathes fire

unicorn: mythical horse with one long pointed horn

Komodo Dragon: a species of lizard found in Southeast Asia

to clarify: to make something less confusing and more clear

dinosaur: reptiles which are now extinct, some of which could grow to massive size

to shoot back: to respond quickly, typically in a sharp, angry, or witty manner

to sit up straight: to sit with an erect posture and sometimes indicates a reaction of extreme surprise

T-Rex: the nickname short for the Tyrannosaurus Rex, famous for its very large size and aggressive behavior

triceratops: a large dinosaur with 3 horns

to stammer: to have difficulty speaking characterized by sudden involuntary pauses and the repetition of the first syllables of words

to inquire: to ask for information

to declare: to announce a fact in an official manner

Questions for Understanding

1. What were the fantastic animals that two of the toy animals represented?

2. What evidence did the daughter's friend give for having seen a real dinosaur?

3. What made the author so proud of her daughter?

Discussion Topics

1. What happened to the dinosaurs? Why don't they live now?

2. What constitutes a fact? Are alternative facts possible?

Parlay Vacay sincerely hopes that you enjoy Layer Cake. Please like, share everywhere, and subscribe in your favorite podcast app. We'll see you at the next Parlay Vacay immersion weekend or next week, whichever comes first!

Thank you.

Got a weekend? Relax. Layer Up your English!

Parlay Vacay offers you

In-person structured immersion experiences for small groups at great destinations. Vacation with tutors!

  • Online live tutoring & coaching

For more information, please CONTACT us or email us at

  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Quora-icon
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Tumblr
  • Pinterest