Learn English while learning about daily life in Australia, with Rob McCormack
Podcast Number 1 – Introduction
My name is Rob McCormack. I have just turned 60 years old and I have been retired for about 18 months. I live in Melbourne Australia with Silvia, my wife of 35 years, and our youngest son Andrew, who still lives at home. I’m very happy in my retirement, as I have many personal interests and I now have time to spend on them. But why am I making these podcasts? Let me explain that by telling you about my most important personal interest.
You see, I am learning to speak German. I started to learn German because my wife, Silvia, was born in Austria and came to Australia when she was 8 years old. She still speaks German fluently. She learned to speak English very well and throughout our 35 years of marriage, we have always spoken English together. But when we go back to Austria to visit her relatives, I find that I can’t understand what is being said unless everybody speaks English. Now, many of Silvia’s relatives can speak English, but they prefer to speak German with Silvia. So I feel a little ‘left out’ of the conversation. That makes me think, wouldn’t it be great if I could speak some German? I could perhaps understand a little of what they are talking about. Perhaps I could even do some of the talking.
So I decided about 3 years ago that I would learn German. I have gone to German classes every week and I do other things to help me learn German. For example, I use websites for language learning (like www.Babbel.com, www.memrise.com, www.duolingo.com) and I also use apps on my iPhone (like Pimsleur German). Now while I have learnt a lot of grammar and vocabulary, I find it difficult to understand spoken German. When I try to listen to the German news, or to watch German movies, the spoken German is always much too fast for me. I can’t understand it because the people speak too fast. What I needed was some spoken German which was not too fast and about topics which are interesting. Imagine how happy I was when I found there were many podcasts for learners of German, where the speaker always spoke slowly.
So I thought, I wonder if people learning English have the same problem? I decided to make a podcast in slow spoken English, about everyday topics, which learners of English could use to improve their listening skills. I would make sure that I spoke slowly enough so that learners of English could understand me.
So this is my first podcast for ‘slowenglish’. I hope you will download my podcasts and give me feedback about them. My podcasts will be about Australian topics, about life, people and events in Australia. If you’re interested in Australia, I hope you will find my podcasts interesting. I have also created a website where you can read the transcripts of my podcasts. It is at www.slowenglish.info. If you have a question or a comment to make, please leave it by clicking the comments link at the top of this story. Or you can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you. Tell me a little bit about yourself and what you think of my slowenglish podcasts. Goodbye until next time.
Podcast 1 Quiz - Did you understand the podcast?
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Question 1 of 7
True or False? – Rob is happy in his retirement and has time to focus on his personal interests.Correct
Question 2 of 7
True or False? – When Rob and his wife visit Austria, Rob feels ‘left out’ of the conversation.Correct
Question 3 of 7
True or False? – Rob wants to learn German so he can visit Austria.Correct
Question 4 of 7
True or False? – Rob finds it hard to listen to the German news because it is too fast.Correct
Question 5 of 7
True or False? – Rob listens to German podcasts which have slow spoken German.Correct
Question 6 of 7
True or False? – Rob is making these podcasts because he wants to help people.Correct
Question 7 of 7
True or False? – You cannot leave a comment for Rob about his podcasts.Correct
apps = you can buy these at the iTunes store – short for ‘applications’
comment = something you would like to say.
conversation = when you talk with other people
created = to decided = when you have chosen something
feedback = when you tell someone what you think about something they have done.
fluently = can speak very easily
imagine = when you think of something in your mind
involved = to be a part of something
opportunities = when you get a chance to do something
prefer = when somebody likes to do something
provide = when you give something to somebody
purpose = what something is made for
relatives = people in your larger family, for example cousins, uncles, aunties, etc.
retired = when you are older and you do not work anymore
skills = the things you are good at, the things you can do well.
throughout = for all of the time
topics = things to write or talk about