Hello from the very warm LINGUA FRANCA offices in Berlin. With the heatwave currently being felt in Germany, sleep has become a problem for many. But did you know that it seems those who sleep more, earn more and get sick less often?
In this 2-part episode (Part 1 / Part 2) from the Freakonomics podcast economist Steven D. Levitt, and writer Stephen J. Dubner, look at the health and economic effects of our sleeping habits . Best suited to B2- and higher students – lower levels can follow the audio using the transcript for Part 1 and Part 2. iTunes link
At LINGUA FRANCA Sprachschule here in Berlin we deal with a number of different languages everyday, but it’s nothing compared to this London school which has 600 pupils who speak a total of 42 different languages. To find out about life at this school, listen to this episode of the BBC’s 6 Minute English podcast.
BBC – 6 Minute English 42 Lanuages – (link for audio, vocabulary help and a transcript) Rob and Finn talk about a school in London which has 600 children who speak a total of 42 different languages. Is it difficult for them to learn English? And how does this affect their educational performance? Are they good at other subjects like maths? Best suited to B1 and higher students – lower levels can follow the audio using the transcript found at the link above.
The team at Planet Money have been researching a question recently – Will your job be around in the future, or will you be replaced by a machine? You can click on the link below to go to a tool that will tell you the chance that your job will be automated in the future.
Today’s podcast recommendation from the LINGUA FRANCA Sprachschule blog looks at something that is a staple (Grundnahrungsmittel) in many German and American homes – pumpernickel. The name sounds rather German-ish, but what does it really mean? And where does it come from? The story touches on everything from Napoleon to a farting devil.
In this episode of the Lexicon Valley podcast – „A show about the mysteries of English“ – host Mike Vuolo and Bob Garfield discuss the surprisingly entertaining etymology and history of the word pumpernickel with Wall Street Journal language columnist Ben Zimmer. iTunes
Today the LINGUA FRANCA Sprachschule blog is presenting another fascinating podcast from the people at Planet Money. If you are right now sitting in an office at a computer, you may well be actively ignoring today’s subject – spreadsheets!
In the late ’70s, a bored student invented the electronic spreadsheet. It transformed industries. But its effects ran deeper than that. As one journalist wrote more than 30 years ago, „The spreadsheet is a tool, and it is also a world view — reality by the numbers.“
What is a podcast? Simply, it’s like a radio show you can download to your computer / MP3 player / smartphone etc. and listen to whenever you want. There are many options for downloading and listening to podcasts. Most will let you download or listen to individual episodes directly from their website. If you want to subscribe, iTunes (PC and Apple devices – use the iTunes Store to find your podcast) is the most popular, while Podkicker Podcast Player is one of many good options for Android.
The British Council’s Elementary Podcast series is aimed at elementary and pre-intermediate level students. If you visit the podcast’s website, you will be able to find not only the audio, but also transcripts, worksheets and more.
For our latest Podcast Recommendation the LINGUA FRANCA Sprachschule blog is presenting StartUp. Week for week, this podcast tells the very human story of the drama and emotion involved in starting a new company.
Last year, radio producer Alex Blumberg decided to quit his job and start a new podcasting company. The first podcast this company would produce was StartUp – the step-by-step story of how this new company was created. Far from being a dry business podcast, StartUp „is an honest, transparent account of something that happens all the time, but that we can rarely listen in on: starting a business.“
The LINGUA FRANCA Sprachschule blog wishes you a happy Monday morning from a wet and grey Berlin. Today’s idiom is one I hope not too many of you have had to experience directly.
My aunt phoned me yesterday. She was very excited because she had received an email from a very nice Nigerian millionaire who needed her help getting his fortune out of the country. In return for the $500 he needed to set up a foreign bank account he would pay her $250,000. I had to tell her that it was a trick. There was no millionaire, just a scammer trying to take her for a ride (reinlegen).
To hear an example of this idiom in use, have a look at the following from the BBC Learning English team:
The origin of this idiom is even more sinister and criminal than what you can find in the examples above. It comes from the American gangster underworld of the 20s and 30s. If a gang was unhappy with you for some reason, you would be invited to „take a ride“ in a car with a couple of their members to „discuss“ the problems you were having. Normally that was the last anyone saw of you. Maybe the police would find your body some days or weeks later. Maybe not.
Today the LINGUA FRANCA Sprachschule blog is presenting a podcast aimed at slightly lower-level English learners, around a B1- should be enough to understand it. The recordings use a limited vocabulary and are read at a slower speed compared to podcasts aimed at native English speaking audiences.
The Learning English Broadcast from Voice of America publishes a 30-minute recording everyday. It features news stories from around the world. On the website you can also find many other audio, video and text resources for English-language learners, all based around current events. Why not have a look at it here. iTunes
Have a little time this weekend? Why not have a listen to the latest podcast recommendation from the LINGUA FRANCA Sprachschule blog.
It’s the podcast that has broken every record and that everybody is talking about – a real international phenomenon. Serial presents the story of a murder over multiple episodes – but the story is real. Each Thursday a new episode is released, and the makers are only an episode ahead of the audience, meaning even they don’t know how it will end. The English in the recordings is quite difficult, so this podcast is recommended for B2 level students and higher. The makers of the podcast have said they hope to publish transcripts of the podcast in the future, so lower level students might still get a chance to follow this fascinating story.
It’s Baltimore, 1999. Hae Min Lee, a popular high-school senior, disappears after school one day. Six weeks later detectives arrest her classmate and ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, for her murder. He says he’s innocent – though he can’t exactly remember what he was doing on that January afternoon. But someone can. A classmate at Woodlawn High School says she knows where Adnan was. The trouble is, she’s nowhere to be found. iTunes