Are You an Advanced English Learner? Start Podcasting!
Two Real-Life Examples of Advanced English Learners Who Started a Podcast to Improve (and Why You Should Do It Too)
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
How can you keep improving your English if you’re already an advanced learner of the language?
You might have already realized that when you get to an advanced level, progress tends to slow down and it might even be hard to notice improvements.
This happened to me too. I got to a point where I had learned the grammar, could communicate well and had enough vocabulary to discuss many things. Yet my English was not as natural as my Italian, my first language, and I could feel that the learning curve wasn’t as steep as it used to be.
So to keep improving, I figured that taking language exams was the way to go as they provided a clear goal and a new challenge. Exams did help me make progress. I didn’t know, however, that sitting exams was just one way to keep advancing. And frankly, it was a boring way to do it.
I wish I’d known about podcasting.
Instead of studying for exams, I could have started my own podcast show. That could have helped me speak more often and I would have combined my interests with language development.
Two advanced learners of English have been doing just that. Daniel Goodson from My Fluent Podcast and Lucia Matuonto from The Relatable Voice Podcast have been running their own shows for a few years now and what they’re doing to keep advancing their English is more creative and inspiring than sitting in a room doing language tests or answering comprehension questions.
Their stories have inspired me. I hope they will inspire you too.
Daniel Goodson from My Fluent Podcast
Daniel is a learner of English from Switzerland who started podcasting back in 2016 as a way to improve his fluency. On his show, My Fluent Podcast, he chats with language learners, teachers, friends and polyglots. He’s interviewed dozens of people, including Luke from Luke’s English Podcast.
I was his guest too in December 2022. He invited me to talk about the relationship between language learning and personal storytelling, and told me that not only did podcasting help him become more fluent in English, but it also improved his social skills.
“I used to be shy”, Daniel said, “but having lots of conversations on my show made me more confident with handling personal relationships in real life too.”
My Fluent Podcast is not the only show he has. He’s also the host of The Vocab Man, a podcast where he teaches new English expressions he learns. Have you ever heard of a more interesting way to learn vocabulary than this? I haven’t.
Daniel isn’t the only learner out there who’s podcasting. Lucia Matuonto is doing it too.
Lucia Matuonto from The Relatable Voice Podcast
Lucia is a lady from Brazil who speaks English, German, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese, her native language. During the global lockdown she started The Relatable Voice Podcast as a way to connect with others and share stories.
On her show she interviews people from all walks of life. Her guests range from book authors, life coaches and public speakers, to survivors, healers and storytellers. She invites them to talk about life, books, goals and, in Lucia’s own words, “whatever else comes up.”
At the time of writing, The Relatable Voice Podcast counts over 250 episodes.
Imagine how much speaking practice Lucia has done over the past few years. In fact, she says that since she launched her show in 2020, she’s been making noticeable progress in her English speaking skills and she’s now more confident in her ability to communicate.
Having guests from all around the world has also exposed her to a variety of different accents, which helped her develop better listening skills too.
Have these two stories inspired you to start your own podcast? If not, here are 3 more reasons that might motivate you to do it.
1. Podcasting can help you polish your English and become more accurate
If you start a podcast show, there will be someone out there who will be listening to you so you’ll naturally want to use the best version of your English. This will push you to pay more attention to how you express your ideas, which can help you eliminate those little mistakes you sometimes make. And even if you make some, that’s not a problem. You can always edit them out and rerecord short segments of your talk.
2. Podcasting can help you grow your vocabulary
You can decide to script your episodes and choose in advance every word you’re going to use. I do this when I’m preparing a personal storytelling episode of my podcast. I script every single word. Then I hit record and read the text aloud. This not only helps me practice writing, but it also gives me the chance to include expressions that I’ve recently learned (yes, I’m a teacher but I’m still learning new words) so that I can review and recycle them, and make them become part of my active vocabulary.
3. Podcasting can help you develop as a person
If you decide to interview guests on your show, you’ll be connecting with other people and learning from them. I’m sure Daniel and Lucia have learned many things from their guests. I have too. On my podcast I’ve had conversations with language teachers, authors, army veterans, activists and language learners. This helped me gain new insights into language learning and personal growth, the two main topics we discuss on my show.
I hope you’re feeling more inspired now.
You may think, “I’m not that special. People won’t be interested in what I have to say.” I disagree. But if you really believe that you don’t have interesting things to talk about, remember that the content you’ll create doesn’t have to be interesting for others.
It just has to make you feel excited.
You’re not doing this to become famous or please others. You’re doing it to push yourself and improve your English in a meaningful and creative way, so that it’ll become as natural as your first language.
This is what you want, isn’t it?
Challenging yourself is key to making progress, especially if you’re already an advanced learner. Starting a podcast can help you do that. It’s an activity that might throw you right into your discomfort zone, the place where learning happens.
Sure, it may be intimidating at the beginning. When I started podcasting in 2021 I didn’t even know what I was doing. I was worried about what people would think of me and on my first episodes I sounded like a priest speaking in church. Terrible.
But if you compare my latest episode with my first one you’ll notice a huge improvement. The more you do it the better you get at it. It’s like learning a language.
It’s never been easier to start a podcast show, so take podcasting into consideration if you want to take your English to the next level. It’s fun, you already have enough English to do it and it’s cheaper than taking a language exam.
I’ve been a guest on Daniel’s show. Soon I’m going to be one of Lucia’s guests too and I’ve already invited both of them to have a chat on Stolaroid Stories, my little show.
I hope I’ll do a podcast collaboration with you too one day.