This is Skip Montreux coming to you, as usual, from Tokyo Japan.

Dez and I are still a few days away from releasing the next episode of Down to Business English but I just wanted to take a few minutes and speak to all of you directly.

First of all, thank you so much for subscribing to our podcast. We launched the show back in March this year after coming up with the idea many, many months ago. It may not be the most polished ESL podcast available on the internet, but Dez (and Samantha!) and I certainly do enjoy putting the shows together, and are especially pleased to see so many people taking advantage of this resource. We sincerely hope that Down to Business English can be of some small help in your language studies.

There are many different approaches one can take in using this podcast and we hope you settle on a method that works for you.

Here is our advice as to how we feel you can best make use of Down to Business English.  Not only to improve your listening skills, but also expand your vocabulary and perhaps even improve your speaking ability.

When a new episode is available:

  • listen to it a 1st time without referring to the audio script. Try to get the overall gist of what Dez & I are discussing. Don’t worry or get discouraged if you miss a lot of information or don’t understand something. This first listening is really just a warm up.
  • the 2nd time you listen, do so in more of a study atmosphere. This time, focus your listening on key information. Names, numbers, words and phrases you do know. Perhaps take notes as you listen to help give you some focus.
  • the 3rd time your listen feel free to use the audio script if you think it will help. Make use of the pause and rewind buttons to stop and take notes. Take a moment to read a passage and then re-listen to it. Refer to your dictionary if necessary.

After going through an episode in this manner, it is a good idea to now read through the audio script, without listening. If possible read it aloud-especially the phrases or chunks of language that a new word is part of.

Remember that it is difficult for your brain to remember words in isolation, or alone. Our brains learn vocabulary faster and remember the meanings of words for a longer period of time if we practice them in context.

Now put the audio script away and listen to the show again. Can you understand it better than the first time you listened? Even if you only understand it a little better-pat yourself on the back. You have taken another step in the ongoing process of language acquisition.
Down to Business English is a relatively long program, each one being 20-30 minutes in length. That is a lot of listening material to dig into.  You may want to apply this procedure the story portion of the episode only. In the future, Dez will be posting some advice as to how to get the most out of the vocabulary section.

Both Dez and I hope you find this advice useful and wish you all the best in your English language studies. Good luck and stay tuned.