Wednesday, November 14, 2012

English by Radio Offers a Fun Way to Improve your English

One of the 8 new apps using radio broadcasts
as a learning tool for ESL students.
English by Radio offers a new series of mobile apps to help ESL learners improve their English. The initial launch consists of eight apps, each featuring an eposide of an old-time popular radio program — including an episode from Gunsmoke, a crime drama, a comedy, and a sciece fiction drama.

The app lets you listen to the radio show at either regular speed (which will be too fast for most ESL students, at least listening for the first few times) and slow speed (just right for ESL students!).

As you listen to the show, you see the text on screen so you can read along. Target vocabulary is highlighted. For example, all idioms are in green text. Tap on "wipe him out" and you get the entire phrase plus the definition: to wipe one out - to destroy someone financially. Non-standard pronunciation is also highlighted. For example, tap on "gonna" and you'll learn that it's a relaxed pronuncation of "going to." The app also provides a handy master list of vocabulary, idioms, and slang so you can study them before you start listening to the radio show. There's also a short grammar lesson and a comprehension quiz included.

These apps are a fun way to practice English. They'll help ESL students improve their comprehension and build their American English vocabulary. And it's nice that these old radio broadcasts -- long forgotten by most Americans -- have been dusted off and are getting a new life with a new audience!

The price per app is $2.99. Click here to access the Gunsmoke app on iTunes