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Sunday, June 6, 2010

10 minutes English - Podcasts

10 minutes English - Podcasts

Do you have enough time during the day to make the things that you like? Would you like to learn English but don’t know where to get the time? Your problem is very typical; lack of time is experienced by many. You know, time is money, but in my opinion it’s more valuable than money, since how and where do we buy time? Leaving apart philosophical questions, in this post we describe some handy tips to make the most of your time and improve your English level by listening to podcasts.

To be honest, the idea of this post came to me the other day while reading an article about “10 Minutes Gym” and I thought that there could be many people that would like to learn English but who have very little time during the day. The idea is simple: try to learn English while you carry out other tasks. Two things at the same time, is that possible? Yes it is, and with podcasts it works out very easily.

A podcast is nothing more than an audio file (normally in mp3 format) that you can download from the Internet and copy to your mobile phone (if it reproduces mp3) or an mp3 player like the iPod or any other from brands like Creative, Sony or SanDisk. Once you’ve copied the podcasts you’re interested in, next thing to do is to start listening and enjoying them.

The value of this is that you can do many other activities while listening to the podcasts. Some examples are:
  • While commuting: if you walk, travel by car or any other transport.
  • While doing exercise: we tend to prefer music, but while we run or are at the gym, it’s also possible to listen to podcasts about topics we’re passionate about.
  • While doing the housework: cooking, ironing or general cleaning.
  • When connected to the Internet: while browsing, on Facebook, checking your emails and so on, it’s also possible to listen to podcasts or even some digital radio like for example the BBC one.
  • Even while studying or working: only if you’re allowed to! :)
Why do podcasts help you to improve your level of English? Well, there are several reasons but mainly they can improve “your ear” and your comprehensive skill or listening. You can only improve your ear by practicing and listening once, listening twice and listening once more. Try to download podcasts in different accents: American English, British English, and Irish English... so that you ear gets used to these. Moreover, there are podcasts that contain grammar or vocabulary lessons so you’ll be able to improve your listening, along with other aspects of your English.

Where can I get podcasts? We could list hundreds of websites, but it’s better if you visit our podcast category and decide for yourself. Furthermore, if you have iPod and iTunes then you can subscribe to the podcasts and get updates automatically, it’s very handy.

Would you like to share another activity that you do while you listen to podcasts? Please let us know in a comment.

FYI, the preparation for this post took more than 10 minutes.

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