Saturday, 27 July 2013

Summer Listening

As the summer holiday begins, a few students have asked me what they can do over the break to improve their English. One good idea is to do some English listening every day. Here are some ideas.
     If you have the Podcasts app (see the previous post), you can subscribe to two good podcasts. First, there is 6 Minute English, which I discussed in a post a couple of months ago. In this programme, two people discuss a recent news story and use it learn some new vocabulary.

Second, you can subscribe to English at Work. This programme is a weekly drama about people working in an office called Tip Top Trading.

The programme follows the lives of four main characters and is a good way to study English communication in an English-speaking office. If you go to the BBC learning English website, you can also find the transcript for each episode. However, please remember, it is better to listen first and read later.
     Finally, also at the BBC Learning English website, you can find Words in the News. Here you can find a simplified BBC news story every few days. You can listen to the story and read it. Any difficult vocabulary is explained at the bottom of the page. For students who want a more challenging listening or reading exercise, you can follow the 'Related BBC links' link to find a more complete version of the news story.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Podcasts App

     The podcasts app is an easy way to listen to podcasts on your phone or mobile device. Remember, podcasts are radio programmes that can be downloaded onto your computer. Once on your computer, you can transfer the podcasts to your mobile device. You can subscribe to podcasts in the same way some people subscribe to a magazine. You can download the podcasts app for free from the iTunes store.

     To get some podcasts on your phone, go to the iTunes store and find some podcasts you want to listen to. Next,  click the 'subscribe' button. The podcast will be automatically downloaded to your computer every week or every time a new podcasts is released. Connect your phone or mobile device (iPad, iPod Touch or MP3 player) to download your podcasts. You can find your podcasts on the podcasts app. The picture opposite is a screenshot of the podcasts I have subscribed to on my iPad.