Saturday, January 4, 2014

Podcasts for ESL students (American English)

I have a student who only has class once a week for one hour and struggles coming up with the time to listen/ read something in English outside of class.  This is a very common problem for working professionals.  I've tried to motivate him to read newspaper articles in English, but it's often difficult to find articles which are both interesting and short enough to be feasible. 

So what's the solution?  My current solution (this may change later!) is to suggest downloading and listening to podcasts.  It's easy to spend an hour or so perusing the net in order to find one or two that appeal to students' tastes.  I did this while learning German and it helped me tremendously.  Aside from the fact that the man doing the podcast was Austrian, with a strong accent, and I now live in Germany, it was fun for me to listen to all of his stories and explanations of vocabulary.

Here's a good one I found just a few minutes ago.  If you pay a few dollars a month you can even get the printout of the podcast and follow along.  Here's the link: and yes, it's American English!  (No offence to all the British English learners out there, it's just hard to find resources in American English.)

Here's yet another one .  It also has worksheets and transcripts, if you're willing to sign up and pay monthly. 

There's something out there for everyone, so just spend a little time online looking and listening.  Good luck and have fun!

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