Suggestions for Learning English? I'm All Ears!

How do learners improve their English skills? By listening to authentic speech by native English speakers. Today, Alan talks about his personal language learning experiences and mentions a podcast for free subscription, All Ears English.

What’s one of the best ways to learn another language? For me, it’s by listening to native speakers engage in real conversation.  I’ve traveled to over 3 dozen countries in my life, studied a dozen languages, and the most rewarding part has always been authentic dialogue.

When I lived in Germany as a college student, I liked my classes at the University.  But I got far more engaging “lessons” by hanging around real Germans.  Living with a family, I got to listen to their daily banter around the dinner table and around the house.  I can still imitate many of those conversations today. 

Decades after that, I moved to Brazil.  I took classes at a language school and with a tutor, but spending time with my Brazilian friends at the beach gave me a chance to listen to authentic talk—and ask them questions!

Today I’d like to share with you a great service for intermediate and advanced students of English.  It’s a daily podcast called All Ears English.

It’s the product of teacher, traveler, and language guru, Lindsay McMahon and her team of expert English teachers.  Subscribing to the free podcast is done easily via iTunes, and listeners can tune in daily on their commutes to work or school.

What I like most about All Ears English is that it offers natural conversation between fun-loving native speakers of American English.  Their tagline is Learn English, Love Your Life.  And their philosophy is gentle and realistic: Connection, NOT Perfection!  After all, everyone makes mistakes.  And if we’re going to make progress, we can’t get hung up by putting details ahead of fluency.

I know there are times when you can’t be watching our TV show to improve your English: when you’re jogging or bike-riding or driving a car, for example!  For times like those, you need a good podcast to occupy your time but keep your eyes where you’re going to stay safe!  A perfect time, then, for All Ears English!

If you try out their podcast, let me know how you like it.  Your new skills might be just what you needed to help you go out and make some new English-speaking friends!

Alan Headbloom

Alan advises Americans how to be global citizens and expats how to fit in to Michigan culture without annoying their native coworkers and clients. He also tweets and blogs at the intersection of language and culture. Over decades, he's traveled, studied, or lived on six continents, putting strange foods into his mouth and emitting strange sounds from it. His use of English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Swedish, Hausa, and Japanese all improve with alcohol use. He gives invited public presentations on culture and unsolicited private advice on English grammar and usage; the latter isn't always appreciated. Visit his website for information on consulting, coaching, or speaking engagements.