If you’ve been following this year’s Macmillan awards you’ll see that Luke’s English Blog just won the award for Best Blog 2012. This is due to the fact that so many of you went out of your way to vote for me. Thank you very much! Your votes counted for a great deal, and I’m very proud that so many of you consider Luke’s English Podcast to be worth voting for.
If you are new to Luke’s English Podcast, then welcome! Let me tell you a few things about this website, so you get a flavour of what goes on here.
Firstly, this is Luke’s English Blog. This is where I post all the text which relates to each episode of Luke’s English Podcast. So, to be honest, the blog is not where it all happens. Really, this is a podcast with a lot of written content as well. The podcast is really how I communicate with my audience, and that is what I put most of my time and energy into. What’s the podcast all about? Well, there is a link in the menu at the top of this page that will explain all that to you. Can you see where it says ALL EPISODES up there? If you click on that you’ll get more information about the podcast. You can see that I do some other things as well, like videos on YouTube. They’re really popular and I’ve had over 2 million views now, in total. People keep asking me to make more videos and I will as soon as I find time!
In the podcast you can listen to me speaking directly to you. The show is intended for learners of English, although a lot of native speakers listen to it as well. The original concept behind the podcast was to provide a listening experience that is authentic (not scripted) and entertaining as well as informative from a language learning perspective. One of my main aims is just to make learners of English listen to English for extended periods of time. I know that to do this I have to make my episodes as engaging as possible. Often, I try to do this just by keeping my speaking ‘in the moment’. By that I mean not planning what I say too much in order to keep the listening experience as interesting as possible. I believe that just because I am talking to non-native speakers of English, there is no reason to make it overly simplistic or even patronising. I try to make the episodes funny if possible, or at least enthusiastic and passionate. I try to talk to my listeners as if I was talking to some friends in the pub over a pint or two of beer. Hopefully, this comes through in the episodes.
As a teacher in the classroom, I find that inevitably some parts of my lessons are boring. I’d be kidding myself if I thought that every part of my lessons was engaging and fascinating. I know in class when the attention of my students drops. Usually, this happens when we discuss grammar, or go through lengthy reading texts or exam tasks. I’ve found that the students interest is most stimulated when the lesson seems to go ‘off topic’ or ‘off piste’. I have found that the students become much more engaged during break times, when suddenly they stop acting like students and just start communicating and interacting more naturally. I also find that they respond well to me telling them more personal stuff. Also, I know that in class, TTT (teacher talking time) should be kept to a reasonable limit, and yet I often feel that I have so many things to say to my students! So, I decided to start doing a podcast in which I could just speak personally, without having to worry about TTT, and in a way that I hope is engaging for the listeners. In the end, I hope that my listeners just get hooked and as a result do a lot more listening than they normally would.
There are plenty of reasons why I do Luke’s English Podcast, but those are some of them. Perhaps in the future I’ll tell you the whole story in an episode of the podcast.
By the way, at the moment I am experiencing some seriously annoying technical problems with my podcast host Podomatic.com
They have blocked downloads and uploads for a while, so you won’t be able to download, and I can’t upload new episodes. This is because they believe I haven’t paid my annual subscription fee, when in fact I did pay them quite a large sum of money in November for my “Pro Broadcaster Plus” membership package. I have sent them numerous emails about this and I still have received no reply. I am now seriously considering closing my Podomatic account and moving to another podcast host. It’s particularly annoying that at this crucial time, when I’ve just won this award, no one can download my episodes and I can’t talk to my listeners. Understandably, I am pretty peeved, cheesed off and generally quite angry about podomatic’s billing error.
Anyway, in future you will be able to download more episodes of the podcast, but for now I suggest that you have a look at the previous episodes of the podcast or the YouTube videos I’ve made (click VIDEOS above).
Thanks again for reading, and thank you very very much for voting for me. I am seriously proud to have won this award again!