Podcasts are now a big deal in language learning, and it is quite easy to understand why. We develop our basic confidence in the language through listening. If we can understand what people around us say, we start talking to them. At least, this is how it should be.
Being as great as they are, podcasts are traditionally considered to be helpful for improving your listening skills. But they are much more than that. In my new podcast, I am presenting you a strong tool to improve English speaking.
Why podcasts are cool
- They are easy to get access to and mostly free (some have paid subscriptions for downloads or additional materials);
- They are on mobile, so you can learn new stuff on the go: in the gym, on the bus or underground. Easy!
- They are fun to listen: you can choose lessons or just a show about the stuff you like.
- They contain current English: no dusty textbooks and old-fashioned English. It’s literally English ‘from the streets’ and you can prepare yourself for any situation or accent.
What is new about ‘Figure Out English’?
Some students often ask me for some addition for their regular classes. They want something they can listen to for 5 minutes every day or every other day. And this got me thinking: Why don’t I create a podcast with set expressions and simple grammar topics which are too small to get a lot of attention in the textbook yet used a lot in speaking?
So, I picked up the things you can’t do without in communication in English: the most mispronounced words, small authentic structures, social formulas (like apologising, asking for help etc.), grammar structures important for speaking, phrasal verbs, and most confused vocabulary. And now I record two short episodes a week and send them to my students and everybody interested for free in a weekly update.
You need to develop and improve English speaking, not compile more knowledge ABOUT English!
‘Figure Out English’ podcast factsheet:
- Episodes are from 3 to 6 minutes long;
- Lessons are grouped into categories: communication (aka social formulas), pronunciation, listening, set expressions, grammar, and phrasal verbs;
- 2 episodes a week;
- If you are a subscriber, you get each episode to your email with the audio and transcript download, and video episodes.
How does it work?
Many of you, I am sure, know a lot, but the same you are embarrassed to actually speak English. In the episodes of ‘Figure Out English’, you will get a clear picture of what you need to say in what situation and I try to give you a chance to practise with me!
Here is how it works. Listen to the episode about the structure ‘to be good at’. I describe here what mistakes to avoid, give plenty or examples for the structure and invite you to participate: to make your own examples using this structure. Because believe me, you will need to use it!
How to practise speaking with the podcast episodes:
- Repeat all the new structures and examples with me or after me – it is very important to say them out loud!
- Try to make your own examples with all the structures and say them out loud or try to use them next time you speak English;
- Record yourself saying the examples. Use Vocaroo or make a note in Evernote. Listen to what you said – is your pronunciation right?
- Send me your examples or recordings and I will send you an email with constructive feedback!