A Letter to My Listeners

This letter was written in April 2014.

Dear All,

There’s no audio associated with this post. It’s just a letter written to you. I do this sometimes if I’m unable to record and upload audio podcasts, usually because I’m too busy or I’m sick. In this case it’s a bit of both. I have been suffering from a sore throat which has affected my voice, so I’m giving it a rest at the moment to let it get better. That’s why I haven’t recorded any episodes recently. I’m also snowed under with plenty of work. Exam time at the university has begun, which means I’ve been preparing a challenging test for my students, and starting tomorrow I’ll have hundreds of papers to mark. That’s going to take up a lot of time! Also, I’m writing a course for a summer school in Oxford. They are running a business English course for young learners, and I’m developing it. I’m just putting together the final parts of the course now, but I have a very strict deadline which I must respect, so next week I’ll be working on that a lot. It’s really hard to focus, especially when I get easily distracted by the internet!

Four big milestones are approaching for L.E.P. In a couple of months, this website will have received 1,000,000 views, the podcast will have been listened to over 1,000,000 times since November 2013, I will have received 5,000 likes on Facebook, and L.E.P. will have passed its 5th birthday. What a combination! I must celebrate all this somehow. I’m thinking of launching a competition to celebrate the 5th birthday. Briefly, I would like to invite listeners to contribute some audio which I can share on the podcast. It’ll be similar to the last competition I did in 2012, but with a twist. Watch this space for more information!

I’m going on holiday to New York at the end of next week. We’ve been preparing this for ages and I’m really excited about it. It’s going to be amazing to explore one of the most vibrant and famous cities in the world, and to get immersed in American culture for a few days. I really want to check out the famous sights, but also sample some of New York/America’s great cultural heritage – jazz music, stand-up comedy and comic books. I will do a podcast about the trip – perhaps recorded there (which would be cool if I have the time) or a summary of the experience when I get back. Either way, I’ll share it with you and make a podcast episode out of it.

I might be a bit quiet for the next few weeks, but I haven’t disappeared. Keep refreshing your iTunes subscription, check your RSS feeds, come back to this website from time to time, have a look at my Facebook page – because new stuff will pop up before too long ;) Also, watch out for easter eggs on this website…

Luke’s English Podcast is going stronger than ever, and it’s largely thanks to you – my listeners – for keeping up with it, downloading it, sharing it with your friends, recommending it, sending donations, commenting with your thoughts and generally being awesome fans. I still plan to take this podcast to the next level. People sometimes write to me with advice on how I can do that (for example, tips on website development, social networking, sponsorship programmes, e-book publishing, shopping cart e-business, Google adwords etc) and I appreciate all that advice very much, even if I don’t follow it immediately. I do intend to build the podcast to a more professional level, it’s just a question of time management, and I’m getting married next year (boom! newsflash!) and we all know how much time and organisation that involves! (I don’t normally talk about my girlfriend/fiancee on the podcast, because I would prefer to keep some aspects of my personal life private – I’m sure you understand!)

Ultimately I’m super proud to be a podcaster and to have a really cool audience of listeners. If I can take it to a higher level, I will, but even if I simply continue to do L.E.P as I do now, it will continue to be an amazing experience.

I’ve got loads of ideas for future episodes up my sleeve. I have to finish the series on slang, I’m preparing something on connected speech & verb tenses, I’d like to continue introducing you to bits of great British comedy, specific episodes about the English language, accents, and more). Also, I want to do as many phrasal verb episodes as I can this year, so that project is alive – it’s just on hold at the moment.

Hi! Well done for reading this far! I expect a lot of people didn’t get to this point, so I’d like to just take this opportunity to thank you and congratulate you! Thanks & congrats!

In fact, that’s pretty much it. Ideally, this letter would end with a profoundly emotional conclusion, but all I can think of at this moment is just to say: Thanks for reading this letter, a new episode of the podcast will be uploaded before too long, but for now, it’s bye bye bye bye bye…