Archive for June, 2008

Business English Training

June 23rd, 2008

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Many people in business would like to get training in Business English, but are too busy and don’t have the time to get it. Unfortunately, people have very busy lifestyles, and don’t have free-time to get the business training they need.

Is there anything these business people can do to get trained?

The answer is yes. People in business can now get trained in different ways through the use of new technologies. One of the most popular ways to learn now is by listening to Podcasts. Podcasts aren’t just for people learning Business English. You can learn almost anything, and many major publications such as The Wallstreet Journal and Businessweek offer podcasts on their websites. Best of all, they are almost always free.

What exactly is a podcast?

A podcast is a broadcast (like radio show) that someone has made and converted to an mp3 file that you can download. These files can be automatically downloaded into any portable media device, such as an ipod, and you can listen to them anywhere you want. People often listen to them on their way to work or school, or even in their cars while driving. People in business love podcasts since they can learn on-the-go and can listen to them at their convenience.

IELTS Listening Practice

June 20th, 2008


IELTS students can practice their listening with our ESL podcasts. These are mp3 files you can download and put on any mp3 player like an ipod, or you can listen to on your computer. These podcasts are also completely free. The reason why these are great listening practice for IELTS students is that they are based on real conversations from native speakers. In each podcast, vocabulary and phrases for daily conversation are discussed in a fun and clear way.

Along with each podcast you can find written material with the key vocabulary and explanations. Practicing for the IELTS exam can be difficult if you don’t have access to any listening material from native speakers. Watching movies or TV in English can be helpful, but often learners of English don’t understand a lot of the slang, and the speed is too fast. Also, the vocabulary and phrases aren’t explained.

The podcasts offered on this website are aimed for students that really want to learn phrases and vocabulary actually spoken by English speakers. They are fun and should help any learner of English improve their spoken and listening abilities. If you practice listening everyday, your ability to communicate in English should greatly improve. All of the lessons and podcasts can be easily found from Lessons . We recommend that you start with podcast 1 and then go through them in order. You can choose any lesson but it should be easier to start with podcast 1 since we use some of our old vocabulary in later lessons. We try and explain most terms again and again so you don’t forget though so feel free to try any lesson you like!

Let us know what you think, and if you have any suggestions in helping you improve your listening skills for the IELTS examination.  If you are unsure on what a podcast is and how you can use it, look at the explanation below.

What is the difference between a podcast and an mp3?
People are often confused about the difference between a podcast and an mp3.  A podcast is an mp3 that you can download.  However what makes the mp3 an actual “podcast” is if the mp3 file has an rss feed,  so you can download it automatically.  Ok, I realize this is a bit confusing still, but what you should know now is that a podcast is an mp3 file that can be automatically downloaded.  How the mp3 can be automatically downloaded will be explained next.

How can I automatically download the mp3 podcast?

This can be done through the RSS feed of the podcast.  Without getting too technical, an rss feed is really just a list of files that can be automatically downloaded.  The feed has a website address just like any website, usually with an ending of .rss or .xml.  Now, to get the podcast to be automatically downloaded, you can put this “feed address” into any feed aggregator, also known as a feed reader. This feed reader is a free program or tool that can easily be found for free from search engines.  A very popular one for podcasts is Itunes, as it also has a list of podcasts to search from.  In other feed readers, all you need to do is copy the location of the rss feed, and then paste it into the feed reader.  You will subscribe to them and when new podcasts become available they can be automatically downloaded to your mp3 player or computer.  It really sounds more confusing than it really is.  Hopefully you will now be able to download the ESL podcasts and start practicing your listening for the IELTS examination!

Improve your listening with our ESL Podcasts

June 19th, 2008


Do you want to know how to improve your English quickly and easily?

Practice listening with our Free Online English learning podcasts.

How it works:

I find that many students can read English quite well but their speaking and listening ability is really poor.  Their vocabulary is big enough and they know the English grammar rules on tests but they still can’t speak well and they don’t listen well either.  Is this your problem?  If you are learning English and you can read this article right now then your English vocabulary is good enough to really start listening, even if it seems hard at first.  Make sure you look at our free study guides with each English learning podcast.  If you are listening to something and you don’t understand anything at all then it is a waste of time. 

However, if you are listening to something and you can understand the main idea of what is being talked about, and can understand some explanations then that is perfect.  If you keep listening to a level that challenges you but isn’t too hard then you will improve your listening and even your speaking.  If you understand enough, even if there is a lot you don’t understand at first, your brain will slowly start to hear the way real native speakers talk and you will begin to speak the words in a natural way.  It will just come out of your mouth naturally and you won’t have to think about the grammar rules.  Just like when you speak your own language.  You don’t need to think.  It just comes out.  Think about listening to music.  If you hear your favorite singer singing a song, after a while, you can sing the words too, even if you don’t sound good when you sing.  You have probably noticed that sometimes you can’t get the song out of your head.  You can hear the song in your mind.  It’s much easier to remember then if you just read the words to a song but didn’t hear it.  This is the same thing that will happen to you if you listen to enough material when you are learning English.  Its good to listen many times to the same thing.  This will help the words come out of your mouth naturally. 

We’ve built this Free online English learning podcast for you to not only learn some new words and how to use them, but also just to listen to the way we speak as native speakers.  Keep listening.  We hope you enjoy it.  Put our free English learning podcasts on your mp3 player and listen to them on your way to work, when walking, or whenever.  Your English will improve quickly.  People will start to tell you how smart you are.


Please give us your comments about what you would like to hear and we will do our best to talk about it on the show.  Tell us about yourself.  We’d love to get to know you better.  Help us tell as many people as you can about our free online English learning website and we will keep making Free English learning podcasts for you to listen to.   We’re so glad that you came here. 


If you have any question about learning English, then just ask.  We’d love to help you. 


Andrew and Addison

Past, Present, Future

June 1st, 2008


English learners often make mistakes switching between tenses in spoken and written language. In English, it is important to know which tense (past, present, future) to use.

Past Tense - has already happened. ex. “I rode my bike yesterday

Present Tense - is happening now ex. “i am typing on my computer

Future Tense - will happen anytime in the future “I will go to the zoo tomorrow

Let’s have a look at a mistake ESL learners often make. Here is an example conversation.

Bobby: “What did you buy at the store?”

Sue: “I buy an apple.”

Hopefully you notice the problem. Sue forgot that she already bought the Ferrari and isn’t buying it now. She is talking in the present tense even though she already bought the car.

Sue should have said, “I bought an apple”.

Knowing which tense to use:

There are usually clues to help you know which tense to use. In our example conversation, the clue is the tense Bobby already used. He said “did” so Sue should have realized which tense to use. Also, she should have realized it was the past because she already bought the car.

Present tense of Bobby’s question, “What are you buying?”

Future tense, “What will you buy?”