Saturday, 23 February 2013
The British Council has lots of great resources to help you study English. In this post, I want to tell you about Elementary Podcasts, a series of podcasts that you can listen to on your computer or download to your MP3 player or phone.
Elementary Podcasts are short radio shows for learners of English. There are two regular presenters called Tess and Ravi, and each show has regular topics. As a general guide the different parts of the radio show are 1) chat between the presenters 2) someone talking about somebody or something they like 3) a quiz to help you learn the meaning of new words 4) a feature called 'Your Turn" where people give their opinions on something 5) Carolina - a feature following the story of a young woman who has come to live and study in the UK 6) a joke 7) Tom the teacher
So far, there are three series of Elementary Podcasts. Series 1 and Series 2 podcasts have 10 episodes and are 20-30 minutes long. Series 3 podcasts are only 10 minutes long but there are 20 episodes. Series 3 also has a slightly different format to the other series.
You can listen to the Elementary Podcasts at the British Council LearnEnglish website:
Or, even better, download the free LearnEnglish Elementary app to your mobile device. Go to the iTunes store if you have an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad, and go to the Google Play store for the Android app. Once the app is on your mobile device, you can download all the podcasts and listen anytime you want.
The Elementary Podcasts are not particularly difficult for learners to listen to, although the speaking can be quite fast at times. However, if you find the podcasts a bit difficult, there are a few things you can do. If you have the app on your mobile device, you can read and follow the transcript of the radio show, although it is probably better to listen first and read later. You can also break down the listening experience and listen to the podcast bit by bit, or listen again to something you don't understand the first time. Also, for each podcast, there are some Exercises for you to do to check your comprehension. Once you have completed the Exercise, you can check your answers and get immediate feedback.
The British Council has lots of other English learning resources, but the Elementary Podcasts are a good place to start.