There are two very effective secondary methods (different methods explained in my first blog post) of studying English for me: listening to UK talk radio and watching UK TV. In this blog post I explain why.
Real English As Spoken Today
Forget outdated textbooks with grammar, phrases and idioms which native people never use anymore! Listen to current radio and TV shows because you can listen to contemporary English as its spoken by native speakers: it is what English is nowadays and by listening you can speak like this too.
Different Types of English
People are always complaining that they can’t understand particular accents. So why not train yourself to understand different types? With TV and radio you can listen to all types of English: from BBC English on the BBC TV channels to American English on Channel 5 and something in between on ITV. In the case of UK radio, you can listen to different English accents because not only can you listen to UK talk show radio presenters, but you can also listen to their listeners – who call in and make comments. The listeners are not necessarily native English speakers, they live all over the UK and even abroad. So it is an extremely wide spectrum of English which will help you to understand people from all over the world.
Broaden Your Perspective
Learning a language is also about learning a culture and understanding the world in another way. When you listen to radio and TV shows, along with studying English you become aware of what is going on in the UK and in the world. Sometimes events are explained differently from what your own government and media says. It is always good to learn various opinions over an issue, assess them and reach your own conclusions. If you work in international business this will help you with your international relations too.
Next week I’ll be dealing with how to overcome technical issues when listening to radio and TV. Stay tuned!