Podcasts

A podcast is a broadcast audio recording – a radio show that you can play on your smartphone, tablet, or computer any time you want.  There are more than 100,000 podcasts, about all kinds of topics.  Most podcasts are released on a regular basis – for example, one new episode every week.  If you find a podcast that you like, you can “Subscribe” to it, so that you can receive new episodes when they are available.

There are MANY podcasts to help you learn English. One is called the “VOA Learning English Broadcast” from Voice of America, which has a new 30-minute episode every day. They speak more slowly, and have news and stories.

On your iPhone/iPad, you can play using your Podcast App (which comes installed on your iPhone/iPad).  Open the app, and search for VOA Learning English Broadcast. There are other free apps you can install from the App Store to manage your podcasts – such as Overcast.

On an Android smartphone, you can play podcasts using the Google Play Music app (which usually comes installed).    Here’s a video with more information about how to use podcasts with the Google Play Music app.  There are other free apps you can install from the Google Play Store to manage your podcasts – such as Google Podcasts and Podcast Addict.

Below is a video with more information about how to use podcasts on your iPhone…

 

Memorial Day Weekend in Boston

 See 37,000 flags on the Boston Common, visit the huge Museum of Fine Arts for free, and more…

Read To Your Kids

  … or read to your grandkids, nieces, nephews, little cousins, dog, – or yourself.

Children’s books are shorter and easier to understand.  They’re really good practice for someone learning English. Reading to a child can help you with:

  • Vocabulary – learn new words
  • Comprehension – better understanding when you read
  • Pronunciation

And – you will learn faster when you use English for something you enjoy.  (It’s really good for your child too!)

You can read along with this book by Dr. Seuss called One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.

Libby

Reading books and listening to audiobooks is an excellent and enjoyable way to improve your English.  Did you know that you can borrow eBooks and audiobooks (with thousands of choices)  – for free – right on your phone or tablet?  All you need is a library card from your local library, and the new Libby app from OverDrive.

If you live in Massachusetts, you don’t even need to visit the library to get a card.  You can get a free eCard from the Boston Public Library.

After you enter your library card number in the app, you can borrow ebooks or audiobooks.  There are also some “Read Along” books (mostly kids’ books) that you can listen to while you read.

Humans of New York – and Other Places

   Humans of New York is a website, and Facebook page, that has lots of interesting pictures of people – and a very short story about them.  Brandon (the publisher) started with pictures and short stories just about people in New York City. But then he started including personal stories from people in other places around the world – such as Pakistan, Iran, India, Vietnam –  and some longer stories on subjects such as refugees and people in prison. The latest set of stories is about people in Brazil.  Here is an example:

“He fell in love with me the first day he met me. He kept calling me princess. He said we were meant to be together because our feet were the same size. Look how embarrassed he’s getting!” (São Paulo, Brazil)

— Thanks to Pat for suggesting this website.  She uses it for reading practice in her English class. —

 

April Vacation Week

If you have kids out of school this week, or just have extra time for yourself, here are some places to go – to see more of Boston and MetroWest, have some family fun, and practice your English:

Pronouncing Someone’s Name

If you don’t know how to pronounce someone’s name, or you have difficulty repeating their name, here is some help.

One good place to listen to the common pronunciation of many names is YouGlish.

  • Type in the name (first name or last name)
  • Choose “US”  to see only videos using American English
  • Below the video, you can change the speed to “slower”, to listen more carefully
  • Listen to the name pronounced as part of several videos

For example:

Visit YouGlish.com

Try to pronounce these names by yourself, and then try them in YouGlish, above:
Elijah, Genevieve, Zachariah, Reynolds, Holmes

Finally, if you would just like to hear the pronunciation of a lot of common names, you can try these:

Framingham Bookmobile

Your library is a great place to improve your English.  They have…  

  • books to borrow and read – to yourself or your kids
  • audiobooks
  • music and movies
  • videos on learning English
  • and so many more free resources

In Framingham there are two libraries – the main library near downtown at 29 Lexington Street; and the new  McAuliffe Branch Library in North Framingham at 746 Water Street

Beginning on Tuesday, April 9th, there will also be a Bookmobile, that will bring a piece of the library to neighborhoods, schools, and other places all around the city.  On Tuesday morning at 8:30 in front of the Memorial Building (City Hall), there will be a little celebration for the bookmobile’s first day, with some snacks until 10:00.  Later that day, the fist places that the bookmobile will visit will be:

  • Woodrow Wilson School
  • Brookdale Senior Community
  • Carmel Terrace Senior Community
  • Framingham YMCA