Podcasts: Changing the Way You Learn English
When you start the process of learning the English language, there are so many educational tools to choose from. There are apps, websites, hundreds of books, group classes, and so much more! Yet, so many of these traditional options are dull and unauthentic. They teach you how to understand the basics, but they don’t give you the real-word practice you need to successfully have a conversation with a native English speaker.
With this in mind, Dynamic English always aims to provide you with useful, conversational English classes. However, we also encourage you to take your language learning outside of the classroom to further challenge you. So, we’ve created a podcast with real, authentic listening practice that isn’t boring. Plus, it’s convenient! You can tune in on the drive to work, at the gym, or while you’re making dinner - wherever, whenever you want.
What is a podcast?!
A podcast is an audio recording that you can listen to anywhere. Podcasts cover a broad range of topics. Our podcast is a language learning podcast, but you can find podcasts about travel, space, economics, music, celebrities, and much more. Podcasts are free, and you can find them on Itunes, Soundcloud.com, and Spotify.
How will podcasts help me to improve my English?
Listening is a difficult skill to learn. Native English speakers talk quickly, have different accents, and use a lot of slang. Our podcast and many other podcasts you’ll listen to are completely authentic. You’re not listening to a robotic voice slowly pronouncing vocabulary words. You’re listening to English speakers discussing relevant, interesting topics.
Can you tell me more about the Dynamic English podcast?
The Dynamic English podcast is called Coffee with Gringos. The concept is simple: we’ve recorded ourselves chatting over coffee! It’s designed and produced by Dynamic English teachers. We understand the needs of English language learners here in Santiago, and every single episode is designed with you in mind. Episodes are less than 15 minutes, and they cover a wide variety of topics. When you tune in to Coffee with Gringos, you’re listening to natural conversations between native English speakers.
Paige: You’re listening to Coffee with Gringos. I’m Paige Sutherland.
Mariah: And I’m Mariah Wika. Thanks for joining us today. So, today is a pretty exciting day for us here at Coffee with Gringos because it’s our first episode, and we’re jazzed about it!
Paige: It is the first episode of Dynamic English’s first podcast. And podcasts here in Chile are very rare.
Mariah: I’ve been listening to podcasts for years. We’re both from the United States, and in the United States, podcasts are a big thing.
Paige: I mean, they’re part of my daily life. I listen to them on the commute to work, while I’m exercising, cooking dinner. I mean, all of the time! I got here, and people were like: “Podcasts, you listen to those? What?”
Mariah: I know! We both teach English with Dynamic English, and I’m always telling my students to listen to podcasts, and usually they look at me and say, “Mariah, what’s a podcast?”
Paige: And the problem is that the podcasts out there are geared at native English speakers, so they’re too difficult, and the ones that are geared at English learners… frankly, they’re boring.
Mariah: Right, they’re super boring and pretty robotic. So, when you learn a language, there are so many choices for how to learn. You can use websites and books and… I was going to say CDs, but nobody uses CDs!
Paige: You can use a record player!
Mariah: You can turn on your walkman. Anyway, there are a lot of options, old and new, for learning English. And some of them are really good, but they’re also missing something.
Paige: Rosetta Stone, right? Duolingo. Who doesn’t have Duolingo? These apps are great for learning, but they’re just missing that big piece, and that’s that natural talking!
Mariah: Yeah, that natural conversational piece! Because language isn’t just something that happens in an app or happens in a classroom. Language happens in the real world. That’s the whole purpose of learning it.
Paige: And so here at Dynamic English’s new podcast, we just want you to learn English by hearing Native English speakers use it. And we’re hoping that you can take that, and you go use it and have conversations out in the real world.
Mariah: Because the truth is that if you are asking for directions on the street in New York City or if you’re on a business trip in the UK. If you talk to somebody, they’re not going to say: “Hello, nice to see you. Turn right at the next street.” That’s not how real people sound!
Paige: Unless their name is Siri, but you probably won’t find her out on the streets… So, what we want here at Coffee with Gringos is to have a conversation, and we hope that it helps you have more conversations in the future.
Mariah: Yeah, totally, and we don’t want to be boring because there are so many great topics for learning English.
Paige: We’re gonna talk about the basics, like how to order at a restaurant. But also, how to order at a bar - without embarrassing yourself! How to hang out with native English speakers and use some of that slang and be a part of the group. It’s important because when you’re having conversations, they aren’t robotic.
Mariah: We’re going to tell stories and talk about history. There are so many avenues to learn English, and we’ll talk about a lot of them!
Paige: So, next podcast, we’ll be talking about how to introduce yourself - and not like a robot.
Mariah: Thanks so much for tuning in, and we’ll talk to you soon!
Key Vocabulary, Phrases, and Slang
Tune in (phrasal verb) - to watch a television program or listen to a radio program or podcast
Example: You can tune in on the drive to work, at the gym, or while you’re making dinner!
Pretty (adverb) - to a moderately high degree, an informal word used to add emphasis
Example: Today is a pretty exciting day for us here at Coffee with Gringos!
To be jazzed about something (slang) - to be very excited or enthusiastic
Example: It’s our first episode, and we’re jazzed about it!
Rare (adjective) - infrequent, doesn’t happen very often
Example: Podcasts here in Chile are very rare.
A big thing (slang) - something important, known by many people, and used frequently
Example: In the United States, podcasts are a big thing.
Commute (noun) - a regular trip to and from one's place of work
Example: I listen to podcasts on my commute to work.
Geared at or geared toward (phrase) - designed for a particular group
Example: The majority of podcasts out there are geared at native English speakers, so they’re too difficult for English language learners.
Robot (noun) - an automated machine
Example: It’s important when speaking English that you speak naturally, not like a robot!
Robotic (adjective) - characteristic of a robot, especially in being stiff or unemotional
Example: When you’re having regular English conversations, they aren’t robotic.
App (slang) - abbreviation for application
Example: Duolingo is a smart phone app for learning English
Boring (adjective) - not interesting
Example: Many of the language learning podcasts are very boring.
Gonna (slang) - an abbreviation for “going to”
Example: We’re gonna talk about the basics!
*What is slang? Slang is a type of language consisting of informal words and phrases. Listening to Coffee with Gringos is a great way to learn some common English slang!