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Why is just listening to podcasts ineffective for improving in English?

July 12, 2021 , by Dr Julian Northbrook

If you’re trying to improve your level and you’re only listening to podcasts, of course, it’s not going to do much to improve your English at all.

And the reason why is because listening to podcasts is just passive exposure. And passive exposure is not going to improve your English much, especially if your English is already at a higher level.

Here’s an extract:

What you need to do is:

  1. Put intensive study into your English every day
  2. and in addition, use English extensively (i.e. passive exposure).

You see, when you study, you’re actually opening the door for passive exposure (i.e., podcasts in this case) to let it do its job. Once you’ve studied something, passive exposure can make it fluent.

But ONLY passive exposure will not help you grow your English.

It’s extremely ineffective, especially if your English is already at a higher level.

Let’s put it this way:

Think of passive exposure as droplets of water. If you put droplets of water in a tiny puddle, it gets bigger quickly. So you learn more if you don’t have much knowledge of English yet. But if you put droplets of water into the ocean, it’s not going to add anything much since the ocean is already big. This goes the same as when you already have a lot of knowledge of English. The better you get, the less any word or chunk has an impact on your English because your knowledge of English is just bigger.

For most people, the fastest way to improve in English is this balance of study and exposure, or what I call the “Two Track Approach”.

If you want to learn more about this method and how to do it, go here and study the free training.

Hope that helps.

Dr Julian Northbrook

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