February 3 2020

Language tips

How I Learned to Love the Podcast.

How I Learned to Love the Podcast.

Moving to another country can be really hard.  Besides all the obvious fun stuff( like seeing new architecture, exploriing new cities, and meeting new people), there are a few difficult aspects of moving to a completely different place.  Until I moved to a country where the language was different, I hadn’t really realized how much language was a huge part of my life.  

When I first moved to the Netherlands, I missed being able to communicate with people around me randomly, like on buses or in grocery stores.  I missed those little every day moments of human contact that I was so used to back home.  Just a simple compliment on someone’s nails, or a question about a product in a store.  I missed it horribly.  

So when I found myself home alone, I started relying on podcasts to surround myself with conversation.  There was something so comforting about hearing people talking about all kinds of things, even if I couldn’t respond.  As I was scrubbing the floor of my bathroom or walking to the local grocery store, I was able to hear people chatting about anything and everything.   I felt a lot less lonely, and the fact that I tended to prefer comedy-oriented podcasts helped me stay positive and provided a lot of comfort.

The other great thing about listening to podcasts was how I was able to stay in touch with things that were happening back home.  Podcasts allowed me to stay informed about movies that were coming out, trends that were happening, and other aspects of American culture that helped me feel close to my family and friends.  

Nowadays, I feel much more at home here, my Dutch has improved quite a bit and I can now communicate to many of the people around me comfortably and confidently.  But one thing hasn’t changed:  podcasts are still a huge part of my daily life.  I look forward to new episodes every week, I am always looking for new shows to listen to, new things to learn about.  But there is one thing I have been meaning to do since I began understanding Dutch a lot better.  

I need to start listening to Dutch Podcasts. 

As a teacher, I am always trying to convince my higher level students to try listening to podcasts in English, because I can’t begin to stress how helpful it is to immerse yourself in a language while listening to something you are genuinely interested in.  And one of the great things about podcasts is that there is literally a podcast for any and every interest.   Grammar, Star Wars, politics, economics, or even just random conversations are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to podcast topics.  

So I am definitely ashamed of myself a tiny bit for not following my own advice and looking for a Dutch podcast or two to throw into my rotation.   Maybe if I start listening to a local podcast I can start to become even more fluent and comfortable with the language!

Ive been able to find a few leads with a few internet searches, but some recommendations would be welcomed (hint, hint) ).  

Deseree Gonzalez American English teacher @Una Paloma Blanca Language School