Podcast.com

According to the website,Podcast.com is the largest podcast collection on the web! And is currently showing more than 85,000 podcasts. The site allows you to "find, play, and share audio and video podcasts from all over the world on ... and access them on any mobile device. Of particular interest to business English teachers and learners is the Business Podcasts @ business.podcast.com channel where a wide selection of business podcasts can be found.
So, for example, teachers can ask learners to visit the channel select a podcast, subscribe and listen to it for a set period of time and then report back to the class or the trainer with a short presentation of their chosen podcast.

Using How to ... video sites to teach or learn English

There are number of How to sites that can be used to teach or learn English. These usually include sections on business related matters and even if you do not agree with what the "experts" say they still provide useful listening skills practice, vocabulary expansion possibilities and stimuli for targetted discussion of specific issues. Use the link above to see some examples of what these sites have to offer.



Talking About English

This page on the BBC Learning English website offers listening activities designed to help with understanding news items. The scripts of the recordings are available for download so you can listen and and read at the same time if you like and as you do so highlight new vocabulary.

The topics are varied and range and include programmes on global brands, financial markets, and global warming.



BNet Channel on You-Tube

This is a great resource for business related videos. At the moment there are over 70 videos to choose from and the number keeps rising. Here's a short book briefing for Carol Kinsey Gorman's The Non-Verbal Adventure - a book that explores the importance of body language in business communication.




New Kids on the Blog: The Power of Web 2.0

This recording from BBC Radio 4 Choice podcast surveys looks at how the digital revolution is changing the face of American media. American journalism is changing faster than ever before and the mass audiences of the nightly network news are in decline. With the internet explosion, Americans now get their news from an increasing number of sources. The growing power of Web 2.0 tools such as blogs and YouTube in transforming the media in the US. You can subscribe to this podcast with iTunes




Telegraph TV: News now

Newspapers like the UK's Telegraph have in recent years embraced the Internet more and more. Now they are also using the Internet to move into TV and provide their readers with alternative ways of receiving the news. Below is a sample from just one of the six channels they offer. To view the the latest news items click on the link above.



Other Telegraph TV channels available are: News features, Sport, Business, Lifestyle, and On this Day.




MBA Podcast

This lecture on Managing Innovation given by Shekhar Chaudhuri, Director, Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, is an example of the material now available on the MBA Podcast made available by the Times Online, which you can subscribe to with iTunes.



The tape script for this lecture is available here:



Web 2.0 and business

A short report on how Web 2.0 technologies are now being used in investments trading online.



For more on this topic go to the Technology in Business page where you'll find a wide selection of articles and videos.


The World in 2008

Listen to this round up of the main economic and political events to come in 2008.



For more listening items like this go to The Economist podcast or subscribe with iTunes.



The Economist Business This Week Video




Follow the link above for more online videos from The Economist.



Business Spotlight Podcast

In this a sample podcast from the business English magazine Business Spotlight Robert Gibson looks at working with people from one particular Arab country: Egypt.



The weekly podcast provides excellent business related listening practice on a range of topics including careers, intercultural business communication, vocabulary, grammar and everyday business functions such as telephoning. You can listen to the podcast online or subscribe to it on the Business Spotlight website, or you cab subscribe with iTunes.



Business English Pod

This is example of the free podcasts available from Business English Pod is on the important topic of how to socialize effectively in business situations.



And here are the study notes for this podcast:

More free listening material is available by subscribing to the podcast at Business English Pod or with iTunes. However, there is also a lot of material available, which unfortunately you need to pay for to download from the Business English Pod website. Though the material offered seems to be of a quite good standard, the website itself is rather poorly organized.



Grammar Challenge

This is a sample Grammar Challenge, the programme where we help language learners use tricky grammatical structures.



Every programme is downloadable as an mp3 and features an expert commentary on that week's grammar. The website contains fun interactive quizzes, grammar tables and an area for you to practise your written English.



Learn English Central

This British Council website provides help developing your English listening and reading skills by offering MP3 audio files and audio scripts. You can listen to the files online, or download them onto your PC and put them on your MP3 player, then see if you've understood by reading the scripts. You can also read the stories online as you listen, and then do language activities, or print out the audio scripts and read the stories on paper as you listen. The material is not business related, but the varied topics offered will help with your general English,and these skills provide the basis for interacting in English in all situations.


Finding audio & video material

The following is an extract of a review of an exciting new web-based application called Podzinger:

A newly launched service called Podzinger offers a set of sophisticated tools for searching text in the ever-expanding supply of podcasts. Created by BBN Technologies, Podzinger automatically ingests thousands of podcasts and applies speech-to-text conversion and indexing to yield a list of relevant results comparable to Google's searches of Web-based text.

Each Podzinger search result includes an embedded player, which eliminates the need to download a podcast before listening to it. You can play any program right from Podzinger's search results screen. A list of transcribed excerpts accompanies each search result, showing the time and context of every occurrence of your search term. Conveniently, you can click on the time code to jump directly to that excerpt. The embedded player includes controls that let you rewind, fast forward, and pause playback, as well as subscription buttons to add the selected podcast to your Yahoo! or iTunes collections.

If you would like to read the full review it's available at here at the PC Magazine website. I've embedded the Podzinger search tool here on the left in the sidebar. Why not try it? The search engine finds both audio and video material. Select EVERYZING and then enter your search details.



Here's a fun video from The Onion News Network which makes fun of the melodramatic style of news presentation and the use of at times meaningless graphics.


Breaking News: Series Of Concentric Circles Emanating From Glowing Red Dot

Go to the The Onion to see more from this satirical website.



Most Popular Radio Podcast in the UK

The number one podcast in the UK (i.e. the most downloaded podcast) this week is BBC Radio 2's The Russell Brand Show, a radio programme broadcast live every Saturday night and then made available as a podcast.
Russell_Brand.jpg
In this extract from the show we hear the host Russell Brand - self-confessed ex-drug addict, successful stand-up comedian and soon to be Hollywood film actor - interviewing the entertainer Joey Blower and the Mayor of Blackpool inside an ice-cream van on the famous seaside resort's promenade.

Brand's mix of slang, quite high-brow vocabulary, innuendo, and a healthy dose of irreverence is very funny and very endearing, but also extremely difficult for the non-native speaker of English. But if you enjoy his brand of humour (excuse the pun!) then listening to his "saucy" podcast will be fun and will certainly help improve your knowledge of everyday English. I'd be interested to know what you think of Brand's style. Do you find him amusing? Add your comment to the discssion tab for this page.



The BBC World Today in Second Life

Has the Second Life (SL) bubble burst? Nine million people have SL accounts, but this past month only one million have actually logged in to the site to visit the three-dimensional virtual world.

In this news report from the BBC World Today's brand new virtual studio in SL, Philip Rosedale, the CEO of Linden labs the company behind SL, suggests that far from being the beginning of the end, this is just the start of something much, much bigger. He envisages a future in which hundreds of millions of people will log in each day, and in which the current figure of 1,000 entrepreneurs making over $1000 per month will increase dramatically as businesses exploit the global potential of the platform.

But before speaking with Philip Rosedale, the BBC reporter has a chance to explore the virtual world and meet one or two interesting characters, including Kane, the track-suited fox who lives on a cruise ship.

So, what do you think? Will SL continue to grow and be increasingly exploited by the business world as Rosedale suggests. And what of the training and educational potential that this report makes no mention of? Do you have an SL avatar? If so, how much time have yoiu spent there? What do you think of this virtual world? If not, why not? Would you like to try? Post comments on this topic by using the discussion tab above. If you'd like to hear more on this topic visit the BBC World Today link where you will find an article and more interviews with users and analysts.



The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Here is an online extract from the popular American chat show. In this episode host Jon Stewart talks with the journalist Alan Weisman about his new book The World Without Us. Their discussion may be apocalyptic, but it's fun too!



If you have any comments or questions about this item, use the discussion tab to post them.


Wikis in Plain English

Here's a very simple but also very effective video explaining the basic principle behind wikis and shows just how powerful they can be as collaborative tools.



If you have any comments or questions about this, please use the discussion tab to post them.



Death by PowerPoint

Here's a fun video clip that illustrates the dangers of over-using PowerPoint in your presentations. Can you list the problems he mentions?




If you have any comments or questions about this item, use the discussion tab to post them.



BEC - Listening practice

This link to the Intelligent Business section of the Longmans Publishing website provides practice for the BEC exams. For listening activities, scroll down to the "Listening test" section and then click on "Part One to see the questions. Then click on "Part One (Conversation one) a little further down to hear the recording. Repeat this process for the rest of Part One and then do the same for Part Two and Part Three. In the case of those doing BAIM exams then your should use the BEC Vantage for BAIM I exams and BEC Higher sample tests for BAIM II exams. Note that the reading activities will also be useful for your exam preparation.



Business travel

This is an online listening activity on the subject of business travel. When the page opens click on the "Begin quiz" button to see the first questions and then click on the "Play audio" button to start listening.



Job profile videos

Here below is a job profile for a US accountant. Watch the video and note the skills, education and career possibilities that are mentioned in the short video.



For more short career videos in American English follow the Job profile videos link.



BBC Learning English

This is the Watch and Listen section of the BBC's Learning English website, where you'll find a a selection of video and audio material on topics from the world of business, entertainment and current affairs.



Carl Dowse's Business Channel

Here in one place are all the business audio files uploaded to Twango.com. Click on any of the files to listen.