Thursday, April 7, 2011

Recommended Podcast: This American Life

A while ago I did a blog post about Podcasts (click here to see it), but I wanted to highlight a few of them in a bit more detail. Today I'll talk about one and in the next few weeks I'll try to mention a few others I've enjoyed and recommend for language learners.

One of the most popular podcasts in The United States is This American Life. Since it's for native speakers, it's not necessarily made for English learners, but it still can be a great resource if you're trying to learn English. 

The program comes out once a week, and each episode is an hour long. Every week they focus on a different topic and talk about normal people who have experience with the topic. For example, a few weeks ago the show talked about some people who thought they had discovered the original recipe for Coca-Cola. 

One of the best things about this podcast is that it often comes with a transcript of the whole episode (Here's one from a recent episode about people in a drug-prevention program). For an English learner, these transcripts can be an incredible resource if you read along while listening to the podcast. However, doing that could also become tiring, so it might be best to break it into smaller parts.

This American Life's website is very extensive and has past episodes in its archive, but if you go through there, you can generally only listen to old episodes for free by using streaming audio. But if you get the show through itunes, it's free and you can keep older episodes for as long as you want. So that's the way I do it.

That's it for today. I'll try to highlight more recommended podcasts in the future. If you've listened to This American Life and have comments about it, or if you want to recommend other podcasts you enjoy, then please feel free to leave a comment. Thanks for reading, and have a great day! 

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-Ryan