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ESL immersion in your spare time--without wasting time

Many teachers and tutors use television, radio, and other media to give students exposure to a language they're learning (English especially, as it's the most proliferated.) They can be a little bit helpful sometimes, but can be useless and even harmful most of the time. Remember the objective of these outlets is to SELL PRODUCTS. Every second of air time has a premium price tag, and there are consequences in using these as teaching aids:

- They talk very FAST. When they're paying for air time, they want to get all the necessary information across as quickly as possible.
--Makes it hard to understand.

- They use linguistic shortcuts, slang, and idioms a lot.
--If you are not a native speaker and cannot be familiar with all the cultural contexts and innuendo, the meaning of the language is lost or skewed.

- They use humor. Sarcasm, satire, and puns are especially ESL "unfriendly."
--The meaning is lost, and the language can be confusing. Only more advanced speakers can infer the joke behind the words.

THERE'S A BETTER TOOL!

If you want to get some natural speaking going, and give an audio aid that students can listen to whenever and wherever they are, look into PODCASTS.

Podcasting is so popular and common now you can find podcasts in almost any subject and field, they are usually free, and the goal of these is usually not to sell but to share information or teach. The author/speaker WANTS people to understand and will be clear as possible. They don't have to hurry up nearly as much, either, since they are not paying per minute.

Give them a try!