Do you know what a podcast is?
A podcast is the combination of the two words, "iPod" and "broadcasting". Podcasts are digital audio shows that you can listen to on your iPhone, iPad, or any other digital device. These shows usually have many episodes so you can save them and listen over and over again. It's almost like having your own radio!
I think I started listening to podcasts as soon as they were available. It's a great way to learn when your eyes are too tired to read. I love listening to podcasts before bed, while taking a shower, cooking dinner, basically anytime! Listening is such an important part of learning English. You can hear pronunciation and intonation, learn new idioms and slang, and understand basic conversation. If you don't have time to sit and study English through books, why don't you just try and listen?
Here I share four podcasts that I enjoy listening to.
I recently discovered this practical podcast for English learners, called Culips ESL Podcast. You can find them on iTunes or download an App such as Stitcher. Although I'm not an English learner, I love listening to their show because they talk about everyday topics in the form of natural speech. A lot of what they talk about is relevant, engaging, and useful. Their website also includes some additional help on each episode.
Their most recent episode, Don't Front, teaches you several ways to talk about people who are fake or inauthentic (someone pretending to be something they're not). I'm sure we all know one or two people like that in our lives!
I've always talked about listening to natural speech in order to improve English and this is a great podcast whether you're a beginner or advanced learner. I absolutely recommend this!
Of course I must mention Marianna Du Bosq's amazing podcast, Bilingual Avenue. I was featured on her podcast a few months ago talking about the power of visual aids. If you missed it, you can listen to it here. Bilingual Avenue has so many great advice if you're a parent or someone trying to teach or raise children from a multilingual background. The podcasts cover questions such as, how to support second language learning? Will my child be able to learn a second or third language if he/she is older? All the podcasts feature people who've have years of experience on these topics. If you're a teacher with young students coming from multilingual backgrounds or if you're a parent trying to provide different languages to your child, check out Marianna's podcasts!
I discovered The Moth Podcast a few years ago on a night I couldn't fall asleep. I tried to find something to listen to that would help me fall asleep and came across The Moth. It didn't actually help me sleep, but made me stay up even later. I couldn't stop listening! The Moth is a collection of short stories shared by regular everyday people like you and me. It uses storytelling to bring attention to ordinary life. Some stories are inspirational, some are funny, some are sad, but everything brings attention to different human experiences. Because all the stories are different and told through different people, you may find some stories easier to understand than others. Read the descriptions and choose the one that interests you!
TED RADIO HOUR
Most of you might have heard of TED TALKS. These are short videos of experts "teaching" and telling us about a subject matter. The TED Radio is kind of similar but it presents a topic and brings together all the relevant talks by speakers. So instead of hearing a whole talk by one speaker, you get to hear little bits from many speakers about a topic. Some topics include, the act of listening, our relationship with trust, why humans lie, how we love.
I use Stitcher Radio which you can download for free through the App store. It's one of the best Apps I own! I can find podcasts depending on topic or category and save them to my favorites so that I can always see new episodes from each show. Try listening to some of these podcasts and let me know if there are any other podcasts you would recommend!