Membership required

You need to be a Member to listen to this podcast

From €5

per month

See membership options
Episode
1

Meet the English for Curious Minds Podcast

First published on
December 2, 2019
Language Learning
-
14
minutes
Leonardo English

Wondering what the English Learning for Curious Minds podcast is all about, who is behind it, and whether it's for you?

Well, this should clear things up. In today's inaugural episode, we'll cover who should be listening to the podcast (hint - if you want to improve your English and learn interesting things about the way the world works, this is you), who is behind the podcast (an English avid language learner), and talk about some of the quick things you can do to get the most out of the podcast.

Subtitles will start when you press 'play'
You need to subscribe for the full subtitles
Already a member? Login
Download transcript & key vocabulary pdf
Download transcript & key vocabulary pdfDownload transcript & key vocabulary pdf

Transcript

[00:00:00] Hello and welcome to the English Learning for Curious Minds podcast by Leonardo English. 

[00:00:10] I'm Alastair Budge. 

[00:00:13] This is the inaugural episode, so it'll be a little different to the rest of them. 

[00:00:18] In this episode, I'm going to tell you a little bit about the English Learning for Curious Minds podcast, about me and about what you can expect from the show.

[00:00:29] I'll also give you a few tips on how you can use these podcasts to maximise your English learning. A lot of these tips will be valid for almost any English podcast you listen to, whatever your level.

[00:00:44] If you like what you hear, well, you can hit subscribe and you'll have the podcast in your pocket so you can learn English while learning fascinating things about the world, wherever you are, whatever you are doing. 

[00:00:58] You can also find all of the episodes plus transcripts and key vocabulary for everything on the website, which is www.leonardoenglish.com. 

[00:01:10] So let's get cracking and start with the first question you may be asking yourself, who the hell am I and why should you care about anything that I have to say?

[00:01:22] Well, excellent question. 

[00:01:25] My name is Alastair Budge. I'm 32 years old and I'm currently recording this podcast from Malta. If you don't know where that is, it's a small island in the middle of the Mediterranean.

[00:01:39] If you can't tell from my accent, I'm English. 

[00:01:42] I grew up all over the UK actually, but spent most of my life in London.

[00:01:47] Like you, I'm a language learner. I speak fluent French and Italian. My Italian's actually a little better than my French now, and I have a Master's in Chinese.  

[00:01:56] Over the years, I've learnt quite a few other languages, including Russian, Japanese, and Latin and Greek, and I've tried loads of different ways to learn languages, both formal and informal through books, films, and of course my favourite method podcasts.

[00:02:15] I'm now married to an Italian. I live in Malta and have a little baby who can't speak just yet, but I speak English to him and his mother speaks Italian to him and in school he’ll learn Maltese, so we're at least trying to bring up a trilingual baby.

[00:02:30] In addition to being an avid language learner, I've also been an English teacher. So I've experienced language learning both from the teaching side and from the language learner side. So I know what works and more importantly, I know what doesn't work.

[00:02:47] What doesn't work, and by this I mean what isn't really going to help you get to any level of fluency, are grammar books and vocabulary exercises.

[00:02:57] You might end up being able to pass a test and scoring high on an IELTS exam, but it's not going to do a huge amount to actually help you communicate with native speakers. Listening, on the other hand is the number one thing that will help you learn, in my experience. And by this I mean listening to native speakers, exposing yourself to how English speakers speak.

[00:03:24] This is of course, especially important if you don't have the chance to meet English native speakers that often, let's say you live in a non English speaking country. 

[00:03:35] Now, if you're listening to this podcast, you probably don't need someone to convince you that using podcasts to learn a language is a good idea. 

[00:03:44] So I'll save you most of that part. 

[00:03:46] But what I will do is tell you a little bit about Leonardo English and the English Learning for Curious Minds podcast, why I started it, what I hope you can get out of it, and the sort of things that you can expect from the show. 

[00:04:00] Okay, so what is the English Learning for Curious Minds podcast and who is it for?

[00:04:06] I started the podcast quite simply because I wished that something like this had existed for me when I started out as a language learner. What always frustrated me was that when, I was learning French and Italian at least, there only seemed to be the choice between this boring listening exercise style stuff and content that was actually aimed at native speakers, which was often spoken really fast with multiple different speakers and was quite unforgiving to a language learner.

[00:04:41] I thought, if I was learning a language, what would I want my ideal podcast to have? Well for starters, it would be about something that was actually interesting to me. I'm not interested in scripted conversations about people going shopping or talking about their family members or hobbies, nor am I really interested in small talk conversations. I'm the kind of person who really wants to learn interesting things about the way the world works as I learn a language, I just get bored with small talk and scripted conversation. 

[00:05:20] So that was one must, that the podcast would teach people something over and above language.

[00:05:27] Secondly, it would have to have some additional materials to help me if I got stuck. Now, this doesn't mean that every word would have to be translated, but it would mean that there was something to help me. A transcript is a must and also some highlighted vocabulary so that I wasn't always having to look things up in a dictionary.

[00:05:51] I'm the kind of person who quickly loses attention if I have to be constantly looking things up in a dictionary, and so some way of avoiding this was necessary for this dream podcast. So I looked around and nothing really existed like this for English language learners. So I thought, okay, I'll make it.

[00:06:16] Now, what can you expect from this podcast? 

[00:06:20] On one level, it's quite simple. Podcasts for the curious mind. Listening to the podcast will help you improve your English communication while you learn fascinating things about the world. 

[00:06:35] And if you don't know what I mean by a curious mind, I just mean someone who's always curious, whose mind is constantly whirring away.

[00:06:45] They just want to know the way things work. They want to know how and why, and they're the kind of person who has this innate thirst for knowledge, who just wants to absorb information.

[00:06:58] If this is you, then this will all be pretty familiar, I guess. All of the podcasts we produce are aimed squarely at English learners with curious minds.

[00:07:10] They are all thoroughly researched and we aim to condense fascinating stories or concepts into manageable podcasts each between 10 and 20 minutes long.

[00:07:22] But don't expect the vocabulary, grammar, or sentence structure to be dulled down just because they're for non-native speakers. Yes, the speed of the podcasts and the speed of the speech may be a little slower than if you are listening to the news or content aimed directly for native speakers.

[00:07:43] And I'll make sure that I or any of the guests on the podcast speak clearly, but it won't be artificially slow, as that's just not how you learn effectively.  .

[00:07:55] We'll use vocabulary in a way that's engaging, authentic, and non-trivial

[00:08:01] You can follow everything in the key vocabulary or transcript on the website if you have trouble and we'll cover exactly how you can use those towards the end of the podcast. 

[00:08:10] We want every podcast to teach you something new, for you to finish listening to it and go, wow, that was cool. 

[00:08:17] We're going to be doing episodes on a whole range of subjects from black holes to a sea that disappeared  from talking about the greatest prison escapes of all time, to the fascinating history of the English breakfast.

[00:08:32] If it's not interesting, well, we're just not going to make a podcast about it. 

[00:08:38] We'll release at least two podcasts a week, one on a Tuesday, one on a Friday, and there will be bonus longer episodes once a month.

[00:08:48] The podcasts will all be relatively short. Most will be around 10 minutes and everything will be under 20 so they're just the right length that you can fit them into your day without having to carve out a huge amount of time.

[00:09:01] Now getting onto the next part, how should you actually use podcasts to learn English? 

[00:09:08] Well, there is a mammoth guide on this on the blog. I think it's almost 5,000 words long, so if you really want to read up about this, then I'd recommend checking out that guide. I'll also add it into the show notes, and there's another podcast coming out on how to use podcasts to learn English so that will have a whole load of information as well. 

[00:09:29] But I just wanted to touch on a few simple ways that you can use podcasts, learn English. 

[00:09:36] I should point out that all of these tips apply to any podcasts you listen to, not just this one.

[00:09:42] Okay. Number one tip is, if you can, to listen without distractions so make sure you're listening actively, not passively. What do I mean by this? 

[00:09:52] Well, active listening means sitting down with a notebook, writing down interesting phrases or words you don't understand.

[00:10:00] It can mean doing things like trying to transcribe the podcast or shadowing, So speaking out loud at the same time as I am. You can find the transcript on the website, so that's Leonardoenglish.com. 

[00:10:14] You can also print that out and use it as an aid to help you as you go along. 

[00:10:19] The main difference between active and passive listening is active listening is when you're listening and you're completely focused on the podcast.

[00:10:29] Passive listening is when you're doing it while you're doing something else. So perhaps your running, driving in the car, doing the dishes, doing whatever it might be, but it's quite difficult, especially when you're listening to a podcast in a second language to actively concentrate when you're doing something else.

[00:10:50] Second tip is to set aside a time every day or week and stick to it. It's the easiest thing in the world to say to yourself, okay, cool, I'll start listening to a podcast to learn a language, but if you don't set aside time in your day, you're much less likely to actually do it, even if it's just 10 minutes after your shower in the morning or 20 minutes during your lunch break.

[00:11:15] Set aside the time for it and actually do it. 

[00:11:20] And the final tip, and this is of course not revolutionary, is to find other people to listen to the podcast with. If there's a friend or colleague who is a similar level to you, then listen to it together, discuss it in English, of course, and use it as a way to practice speaking.

[00:11:40] Podcasts are such an incredible language learning tool, but they're so underused by most English language learners. They teach you listening, of course, but if you use them properly, they can also help your speaking, reading and writing. Plus they live on your phone, you can access them whenever you want, and you get to hear directly from native speakers.

[00:12:02] So just think about it. People spend thousands of dollars to go and do intensive language immersion courses in places where native speakers are, but they could get immediate access 24 hours a day to native speakers directly in their ears, through their headphones, through a podcast for free. 

[00:12:20] As I'm sure you can guess, I'm a bit of a fan of podcasts, but that's just because I know how powerful they can be and I hope through listening to this podcast and learning with Leonardo English and the English Learning for Curious Minds podcast, you'll come round to my way of thinking too.

[00:12:38] Right. This episode has just been a taster.  

[00:12:42] Yes, you could of course say that this first one hasn't been a fascinating story that has taught you about the way the world works, but I hope it has given you an idea of things to come. So should you hit subscribe? Well, that's up to you.

[00:12:57] All I can say is that we have big plans. There's going to be a load of interesting stuff coming up over the next few weeks,  and if you want something that is far more interesting than phrasal verbs or vocabulary books, then I hope we tick this box.

[00:13:10] I also want to say that Leonardo English isn't some huge, faceless corporation. I want you to be a part of it, and if you've got an idea for an episode, you have some feedback on the podcast, or there are any questions that you might have, then come and say hello, we don't bite.

[00:13:27] You can say hello on the website, which is Leonardoenglish.com on the Learn English with Podcasts group on Facebook, so just search, learn English with podcasts on Facebook. Or on Instagram at LeonardoEnglishapp. I would love to hear from you, and all feedback is good feedback. 

[00:13:44] Okay. So that's it for episode number one. I hope you've enjoyed it and that it's given you a taste of things to come.

[00:13:52] You've been listening to the English Learning for Curious Minds podcast by Leonardo English.

[00:13:57] I'm Alastair Budge and I'll catch you in the next episode.



Continue learning

Get immediate access to a more interesting way of improving your English
Become a memberUpgrade to Learner membership
Already a member? Login

[00:00:00] Hello and welcome to the English Learning for Curious Minds podcast by Leonardo English. 

[00:00:10] I'm Alastair Budge. 

[00:00:13] This is the inaugural episode, so it'll be a little different to the rest of them. 

[00:00:18] In this episode, I'm going to tell you a little bit about the English Learning for Curious Minds podcast, about me and about what you can expect from the show.

[00:00:29] I'll also give you a few tips on how you can use these podcasts to maximise your English learning. A lot of these tips will be valid for almost any English podcast you listen to, whatever your level.

[00:00:44] If you like what you hear, well, you can hit subscribe and you'll have the podcast in your pocket so you can learn English while learning fascinating things about the world, wherever you are, whatever you are doing. 

[00:00:58] You can also find all of the episodes plus transcripts and key vocabulary for everything on the website, which is www.leonardoenglish.com. 

[00:01:10] So let's get cracking and start with the first question you may be asking yourself, who the hell am I and why should you care about anything that I have to say?

[00:01:22] Well, excellent question. 

[00:01:25] My name is Alastair Budge. I'm 32 years old and I'm currently recording this podcast from Malta. If you don't know where that is, it's a small island in the middle of the Mediterranean.

[00:01:39] If you can't tell from my accent, I'm English. 

[00:01:42] I grew up all over the UK actually, but spent most of my life in London.

[00:01:47] Like you, I'm a language learner. I speak fluent French and Italian. My Italian's actually a little better than my French now, and I have a Master's in Chinese.  

[00:01:56] Over the years, I've learnt quite a few other languages, including Russian, Japanese, and Latin and Greek, and I've tried loads of different ways to learn languages, both formal and informal through books, films, and of course my favourite method podcasts.

[00:02:15] I'm now married to an Italian. I live in Malta and have a little baby who can't speak just yet, but I speak English to him and his mother speaks Italian to him and in school he’ll learn Maltese, so we're at least trying to bring up a trilingual baby.

[00:02:30] In addition to being an avid language learner, I've also been an English teacher. So I've experienced language learning both from the teaching side and from the language learner side. So I know what works and more importantly, I know what doesn't work.

[00:02:47] What doesn't work, and by this I mean what isn't really going to help you get to any level of fluency, are grammar books and vocabulary exercises.

[00:02:57] You might end up being able to pass a test and scoring high on an IELTS exam, but it's not going to do a huge amount to actually help you communicate with native speakers. Listening, on the other hand is the number one thing that will help you learn, in my experience. And by this I mean listening to native speakers, exposing yourself to how English speakers speak.

[00:03:24] This is of course, especially important if you don't have the chance to meet English native speakers that often, let's say you live in a non English speaking country. 

[00:03:35] Now, if you're listening to this podcast, you probably don't need someone to convince you that using podcasts to learn a language is a good idea. 

[00:03:44] So I'll save you most of that part. 

[00:03:46] But what I will do is tell you a little bit about Leonardo English and the English Learning for Curious Minds podcast, why I started it, what I hope you can get out of it, and the sort of things that you can expect from the show. 

[00:04:00] Okay, so what is the English Learning for Curious Minds podcast and who is it for?

[00:04:06] I started the podcast quite simply because I wished that something like this had existed for me when I started out as a language learner. What always frustrated me was that when, I was learning French and Italian at least, there only seemed to be the choice between this boring listening exercise style stuff and content that was actually aimed at native speakers, which was often spoken really fast with multiple different speakers and was quite unforgiving to a language learner.

[00:04:41] I thought, if I was learning a language, what would I want my ideal podcast to have? Well for starters, it would be about something that was actually interesting to me. I'm not interested in scripted conversations about people going shopping or talking about their family members or hobbies, nor am I really interested in small talk conversations. I'm the kind of person who really wants to learn interesting things about the way the world works as I learn a language, I just get bored with small talk and scripted conversation. 

[00:05:20] So that was one must, that the podcast would teach people something over and above language.

[00:05:27] Secondly, it would have to have some additional materials to help me if I got stuck. Now, this doesn't mean that every word would have to be translated, but it would mean that there was something to help me. A transcript is a must and also some highlighted vocabulary so that I wasn't always having to look things up in a dictionary.

[00:05:51] I'm the kind of person who quickly loses attention if I have to be constantly looking things up in a dictionary, and so some way of avoiding this was necessary for this dream podcast. So I looked around and nothing really existed like this for English language learners. So I thought, okay, I'll make it.

[00:06:16] Now, what can you expect from this podcast? 

[00:06:20] On one level, it's quite simple. Podcasts for the curious mind. Listening to the podcast will help you improve your English communication while you learn fascinating things about the world. 

[00:06:35] And if you don't know what I mean by a curious mind, I just mean someone who's always curious, whose mind is constantly whirring away.

[00:06:45] They just want to know the way things work. They want to know how and why, and they're the kind of person who has this innate thirst for knowledge, who just wants to absorb information.

[00:06:58] If this is you, then this will all be pretty familiar, I guess. All of the podcasts we produce are aimed squarely at English learners with curious minds.

[00:07:10] They are all thoroughly researched and we aim to condense fascinating stories or concepts into manageable podcasts each between 10 and 20 minutes long.

[00:07:22] But don't expect the vocabulary, grammar, or sentence structure to be dulled down just because they're for non-native speakers. Yes, the speed of the podcasts and the speed of the speech may be a little slower than if you are listening to the news or content aimed directly for native speakers.

[00:07:43] And I'll make sure that I or any of the guests on the podcast speak clearly, but it won't be artificially slow, as that's just not how you learn effectively.  .

[00:07:55] We'll use vocabulary in a way that's engaging, authentic, and non-trivial

[00:08:01] You can follow everything in the key vocabulary or transcript on the website if you have trouble and we'll cover exactly how you can use those towards the end of the podcast. 

[00:08:10] We want every podcast to teach you something new, for you to finish listening to it and go, wow, that was cool. 

[00:08:17] We're going to be doing episodes on a whole range of subjects from black holes to a sea that disappeared  from talking about the greatest prison escapes of all time, to the fascinating history of the English breakfast.

[00:08:32] If it's not interesting, well, we're just not going to make a podcast about it. 

[00:08:38] We'll release at least two podcasts a week, one on a Tuesday, one on a Friday, and there will be bonus longer episodes once a month.

[00:08:48] The podcasts will all be relatively short. Most will be around 10 minutes and everything will be under 20 so they're just the right length that you can fit them into your day without having to carve out a huge amount of time.

[00:09:01] Now getting onto the next part, how should you actually use podcasts to learn English? 

[00:09:08] Well, there is a mammoth guide on this on the blog. I think it's almost 5,000 words long, so if you really want to read up about this, then I'd recommend checking out that guide. I'll also add it into the show notes, and there's another podcast coming out on how to use podcasts to learn English so that will have a whole load of information as well. 

[00:09:29] But I just wanted to touch on a few simple ways that you can use podcasts, learn English. 

[00:09:36] I should point out that all of these tips apply to any podcasts you listen to, not just this one.

[00:09:42] Okay. Number one tip is, if you can, to listen without distractions so make sure you're listening actively, not passively. What do I mean by this? 

[00:09:52] Well, active listening means sitting down with a notebook, writing down interesting phrases or words you don't understand.

[00:10:00] It can mean doing things like trying to transcribe the podcast or shadowing, So speaking out loud at the same time as I am. You can find the transcript on the website, so that's Leonardoenglish.com. 

[00:10:14] You can also print that out and use it as an aid to help you as you go along. 

[00:10:19] The main difference between active and passive listening is active listening is when you're listening and you're completely focused on the podcast.

[00:10:29] Passive listening is when you're doing it while you're doing something else. So perhaps your running, driving in the car, doing the dishes, doing whatever it might be, but it's quite difficult, especially when you're listening to a podcast in a second language to actively concentrate when you're doing something else.

[00:10:50] Second tip is to set aside a time every day or week and stick to it. It's the easiest thing in the world to say to yourself, okay, cool, I'll start listening to a podcast to learn a language, but if you don't set aside time in your day, you're much less likely to actually do it, even if it's just 10 minutes after your shower in the morning or 20 minutes during your lunch break.

[00:11:15] Set aside the time for it and actually do it. 

[00:11:20] And the final tip, and this is of course not revolutionary, is to find other people to listen to the podcast with. If there's a friend or colleague who is a similar level to you, then listen to it together, discuss it in English, of course, and use it as a way to practice speaking.

[00:11:40] Podcasts are such an incredible language learning tool, but they're so underused by most English language learners. They teach you listening, of course, but if you use them properly, they can also help your speaking, reading and writing. Plus they live on your phone, you can access them whenever you want, and you get to hear directly from native speakers.

[00:12:02] So just think about it. People spend thousands of dollars to go and do intensive language immersion courses in places where native speakers are, but they could get immediate access 24 hours a day to native speakers directly in their ears, through their headphones, through a podcast for free. 

[00:12:20] As I'm sure you can guess, I'm a bit of a fan of podcasts, but that's just because I know how powerful they can be and I hope through listening to this podcast and learning with Leonardo English and the English Learning for Curious Minds podcast, you'll come round to my way of thinking too.

[00:12:38] Right. This episode has just been a taster.  

[00:12:42] Yes, you could of course say that this first one hasn't been a fascinating story that has taught you about the way the world works, but I hope it has given you an idea of things to come. So should you hit subscribe? Well, that's up to you.

[00:12:57] All I can say is that we have big plans. There's going to be a load of interesting stuff coming up over the next few weeks,  and if you want something that is far more interesting than phrasal verbs or vocabulary books, then I hope we tick this box.

[00:13:10] I also want to say that Leonardo English isn't some huge, faceless corporation. I want you to be a part of it, and if you've got an idea for an episode, you have some feedback on the podcast, or there are any questions that you might have, then come and say hello, we don't bite.

[00:13:27] You can say hello on the website, which is Leonardoenglish.com on the Learn English with Podcasts group on Facebook, so just search, learn English with podcasts on Facebook. Or on Instagram at LeonardoEnglishapp. I would love to hear from you, and all feedback is good feedback. 

[00:13:44] Okay. So that's it for episode number one. I hope you've enjoyed it and that it's given you a taste of things to come.

[00:13:52] You've been listening to the English Learning for Curious Minds podcast by Leonardo English.

[00:13:57] I'm Alastair Budge and I'll catch you in the next episode.



[00:00:00] Hello and welcome to the English Learning for Curious Minds podcast by Leonardo English. 

[00:00:10] I'm Alastair Budge. 

[00:00:13] This is the inaugural episode, so it'll be a little different to the rest of them. 

[00:00:18] In this episode, I'm going to tell you a little bit about the English Learning for Curious Minds podcast, about me and about what you can expect from the show.

[00:00:29] I'll also give you a few tips on how you can use these podcasts to maximise your English learning. A lot of these tips will be valid for almost any English podcast you listen to, whatever your level.

[00:00:44] If you like what you hear, well, you can hit subscribe and you'll have the podcast in your pocket so you can learn English while learning fascinating things about the world, wherever you are, whatever you are doing. 

[00:00:58] You can also find all of the episodes plus transcripts and key vocabulary for everything on the website, which is www.leonardoenglish.com. 

[00:01:10] So let's get cracking and start with the first question you may be asking yourself, who the hell am I and why should you care about anything that I have to say?

[00:01:22] Well, excellent question. 

[00:01:25] My name is Alastair Budge. I'm 32 years old and I'm currently recording this podcast from Malta. If you don't know where that is, it's a small island in the middle of the Mediterranean.

[00:01:39] If you can't tell from my accent, I'm English. 

[00:01:42] I grew up all over the UK actually, but spent most of my life in London.

[00:01:47] Like you, I'm a language learner. I speak fluent French and Italian. My Italian's actually a little better than my French now, and I have a Master's in Chinese.  

[00:01:56] Over the years, I've learnt quite a few other languages, including Russian, Japanese, and Latin and Greek, and I've tried loads of different ways to learn languages, both formal and informal through books, films, and of course my favourite method podcasts.

[00:02:15] I'm now married to an Italian. I live in Malta and have a little baby who can't speak just yet, but I speak English to him and his mother speaks Italian to him and in school he’ll learn Maltese, so we're at least trying to bring up a trilingual baby.

[00:02:30] In addition to being an avid language learner, I've also been an English teacher. So I've experienced language learning both from the teaching side and from the language learner side. So I know what works and more importantly, I know what doesn't work.

[00:02:47] What doesn't work, and by this I mean what isn't really going to help you get to any level of fluency, are grammar books and vocabulary exercises.

[00:02:57] You might end up being able to pass a test and scoring high on an IELTS exam, but it's not going to do a huge amount to actually help you communicate with native speakers. Listening, on the other hand is the number one thing that will help you learn, in my experience. And by this I mean listening to native speakers, exposing yourself to how English speakers speak.

[00:03:24] This is of course, especially important if you don't have the chance to meet English native speakers that often, let's say you live in a non English speaking country. 

[00:03:35] Now, if you're listening to this podcast, you probably don't need someone to convince you that using podcasts to learn a language is a good idea. 

[00:03:44] So I'll save you most of that part. 

[00:03:46] But what I will do is tell you a little bit about Leonardo English and the English Learning for Curious Minds podcast, why I started it, what I hope you can get out of it, and the sort of things that you can expect from the show. 

[00:04:00] Okay, so what is the English Learning for Curious Minds podcast and who is it for?

[00:04:06] I started the podcast quite simply because I wished that something like this had existed for me when I started out as a language learner. What always frustrated me was that when, I was learning French and Italian at least, there only seemed to be the choice between this boring listening exercise style stuff and content that was actually aimed at native speakers, which was often spoken really fast with multiple different speakers and was quite unforgiving to a language learner.

[00:04:41] I thought, if I was learning a language, what would I want my ideal podcast to have? Well for starters, it would be about something that was actually interesting to me. I'm not interested in scripted conversations about people going shopping or talking about their family members or hobbies, nor am I really interested in small talk conversations. I'm the kind of person who really wants to learn interesting things about the way the world works as I learn a language, I just get bored with small talk and scripted conversation. 

[00:05:20] So that was one must, that the podcast would teach people something over and above language.

[00:05:27] Secondly, it would have to have some additional materials to help me if I got stuck. Now, this doesn't mean that every word would have to be translated, but it would mean that there was something to help me. A transcript is a must and also some highlighted vocabulary so that I wasn't always having to look things up in a dictionary.

[00:05:51] I'm the kind of person who quickly loses attention if I have to be constantly looking things up in a dictionary, and so some way of avoiding this was necessary for this dream podcast. So I looked around and nothing really existed like this for English language learners. So I thought, okay, I'll make it.

[00:06:16] Now, what can you expect from this podcast? 

[00:06:20] On one level, it's quite simple. Podcasts for the curious mind. Listening to the podcast will help you improve your English communication while you learn fascinating things about the world. 

[00:06:35] And if you don't know what I mean by a curious mind, I just mean someone who's always curious, whose mind is constantly whirring away.

[00:06:45] They just want to know the way things work. They want to know how and why, and they're the kind of person who has this innate thirst for knowledge, who just wants to absorb information.

[00:06:58] If this is you, then this will all be pretty familiar, I guess. All of the podcasts we produce are aimed squarely at English learners with curious minds.

[00:07:10] They are all thoroughly researched and we aim to condense fascinating stories or concepts into manageable podcasts each between 10 and 20 minutes long.

[00:07:22] But don't expect the vocabulary, grammar, or sentence structure to be dulled down just because they're for non-native speakers. Yes, the speed of the podcasts and the speed of the speech may be a little slower than if you are listening to the news or content aimed directly for native speakers.

[00:07:43] And I'll make sure that I or any of the guests on the podcast speak clearly, but it won't be artificially slow, as that's just not how you learn effectively.  .

[00:07:55] We'll use vocabulary in a way that's engaging, authentic, and non-trivial

[00:08:01] You can follow everything in the key vocabulary or transcript on the website if you have trouble and we'll cover exactly how you can use those towards the end of the podcast. 

[00:08:10] We want every podcast to teach you something new, for you to finish listening to it and go, wow, that was cool. 

[00:08:17] We're going to be doing episodes on a whole range of subjects from black holes to a sea that disappeared  from talking about the greatest prison escapes of all time, to the fascinating history of the English breakfast.

[00:08:32] If it's not interesting, well, we're just not going to make a podcast about it. 

[00:08:38] We'll release at least two podcasts a week, one on a Tuesday, one on a Friday, and there will be bonus longer episodes once a month.

[00:08:48] The podcasts will all be relatively short. Most will be around 10 minutes and everything will be under 20 so they're just the right length that you can fit them into your day without having to carve out a huge amount of time.

[00:09:01] Now getting onto the next part, how should you actually use podcasts to learn English? 

[00:09:08] Well, there is a mammoth guide on this on the blog. I think it's almost 5,000 words long, so if you really want to read up about this, then I'd recommend checking out that guide. I'll also add it into the show notes, and there's another podcast coming out on how to use podcasts to learn English so that will have a whole load of information as well. 

[00:09:29] But I just wanted to touch on a few simple ways that you can use podcasts, learn English. 

[00:09:36] I should point out that all of these tips apply to any podcasts you listen to, not just this one.

[00:09:42] Okay. Number one tip is, if you can, to listen without distractions so make sure you're listening actively, not passively. What do I mean by this? 

[00:09:52] Well, active listening means sitting down with a notebook, writing down interesting phrases or words you don't understand.

[00:10:00] It can mean doing things like trying to transcribe the podcast or shadowing, So speaking out loud at the same time as I am. You can find the transcript on the website, so that's Leonardoenglish.com. 

[00:10:14] You can also print that out and use it as an aid to help you as you go along. 

[00:10:19] The main difference between active and passive listening is active listening is when you're listening and you're completely focused on the podcast.

[00:10:29] Passive listening is when you're doing it while you're doing something else. So perhaps your running, driving in the car, doing the dishes, doing whatever it might be, but it's quite difficult, especially when you're listening to a podcast in a second language to actively concentrate when you're doing something else.

[00:10:50] Second tip is to set aside a time every day or week and stick to it. It's the easiest thing in the world to say to yourself, okay, cool, I'll start listening to a podcast to learn a language, but if you don't set aside time in your day, you're much less likely to actually do it, even if it's just 10 minutes after your shower in the morning or 20 minutes during your lunch break.

[00:11:15] Set aside the time for it and actually do it. 

[00:11:20] And the final tip, and this is of course not revolutionary, is to find other people to listen to the podcast with. If there's a friend or colleague who is a similar level to you, then listen to it together, discuss it in English, of course, and use it as a way to practice speaking.

[00:11:40] Podcasts are such an incredible language learning tool, but they're so underused by most English language learners. They teach you listening, of course, but if you use them properly, they can also help your speaking, reading and writing. Plus they live on your phone, you can access them whenever you want, and you get to hear directly from native speakers.

[00:12:02] So just think about it. People spend thousands of dollars to go and do intensive language immersion courses in places where native speakers are, but they could get immediate access 24 hours a day to native speakers directly in their ears, through their headphones, through a podcast for free. 

[00:12:20] As I'm sure you can guess, I'm a bit of a fan of podcasts, but that's just because I know how powerful they can be and I hope through listening to this podcast and learning with Leonardo English and the English Learning for Curious Minds podcast, you'll come round to my way of thinking too.

[00:12:38] Right. This episode has just been a taster.  

[00:12:42] Yes, you could of course say that this first one hasn't been a fascinating story that has taught you about the way the world works, but I hope it has given you an idea of things to come. So should you hit subscribe? Well, that's up to you.

[00:12:57] All I can say is that we have big plans. There's going to be a load of interesting stuff coming up over the next few weeks,  and if you want something that is far more interesting than phrasal verbs or vocabulary books, then I hope we tick this box.

[00:13:10] I also want to say that Leonardo English isn't some huge, faceless corporation. I want you to be a part of it, and if you've got an idea for an episode, you have some feedback on the podcast, or there are any questions that you might have, then come and say hello, we don't bite.

[00:13:27] You can say hello on the website, which is Leonardoenglish.com on the Learn English with Podcasts group on Facebook, so just search, learn English with podcasts on Facebook. Or on Instagram at LeonardoEnglishapp. I would love to hear from you, and all feedback is good feedback. 

[00:13:44] Okay. So that's it for episode number one. I hope you've enjoyed it and that it's given you a taste of things to come.

[00:13:52] You've been listening to the English Learning for Curious Minds podcast by Leonardo English.

[00:13:57] I'm Alastair Budge and I'll catch you in the next episode.