Recent Podcasts

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You can find links to all of the podcasts and the transcripts on this page. Don’t forget that you can also subscribe using your favourite podcast platform by clicking on the little green box below.

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Episode 56

Reasons for English: English grammar is wrong

Learning a language is difficult. But it is even more difficult when the grammar of the language you are learning is all wrong. Find out why in this episode.

Episode 55

Word Stories: Court

The word ‘court’ is very short but with a long story and many different meanings. Learn more about the different ways this little word can be used in English in this latest episode.

Episode 54

Learning Strategies: How to use a podcast to learn English

Podcasts are a great way to learn English, but are you learning as effectively as possible? Listen to get 10 great strategies so you can improve your English just by listening to podcasts.

Episode 53

Reasons for English: The 100 Years War

Find out how a war that lasted over 100 years saw dramatic changes in the role of the English language in England.

Episode 52

Word Stories: Junk

Discover all there is to know about the history of the word ‘junk’ as well as the different ways it can be used today.

Episode 51

Learning Strategies: Clubhouse

Clubhouse is an audio-based social media platform that is perfect for practising your spoken English skills. Listen and enter the competition to get a free invite.

Episode 50

Word Stories: Lady Godiva

The story of Lady Godiva is a very popular folk story in England. It also gives us a couple of idiomatic expressions that are still commonly used to this day.

Episode 49

Word Stories: India in English

In this week’s episode, we dive into the amazing country of India and look at just some of the words that the English language has borrowed from that rich and vibrant culture.

Episode 48

Reasons for English: The year 1066

They didn’t know it at the time, but the year 1066 was going to change everything in England; the king, the culture, the government, and the language.

Episode 47

Learning Strategies: SMART English learning goals

Setting yourself language learning goals is vital to keep motivated. This week we will look at how you can set SMART English learning goals and why they are so important.

Episode 46

Word Stories: Hello and goodbye

Today we tell the story of two of the most common words in English: Hello and Goodbye!

Episode 45

Learning Strategies: English as a lingua franca for students

What do students of English need to learn if they never talk to another ‘native’ English speaker? In this episode, I look at some of the implications of using English as a lingua franca, or world language.

Episode 44

Reasons for English: Why is English the world’s language?

Why do you have to study English? Why not Fench or Arabic or Chinese or some other language. In fact, why do we have one global language at all? Listen to find out.

Episode 43

Word Stories: Lingua franca

English is often described as the world’s lingua franca. What does ‘lingua franca’ mean and where does it come from? Listen to this short podcast to find out.

Episode 42

Learning Strategies: Understand yourself

Understanding yourself is critical if you want to learn English as efficiently as possible. Find out what you need to know about yourself to be an effective learner.

Episode 41

Word Stories: Fish and chips

It’s the meal everyone thinks of when they think of British cooking. In this episode, we look at the origins of the phrase ‘fish and chips’.

Episode 40

Reasons for English: The Vikings and English

The Vikings had a significant impact on the development of the English language and are the reason for one good thing and one terrible thing for English language learners.

Episode 39

Learning Strategies: Learn English with Netflix

Discover 5 great ideas for how you can learn English while watching Netflix.

Episode 38

Word Stories: Water of Life

The Romans had a drink called ‘aqua vitae’ or the water of life. Listen to find out how this drink survives and influences the names of other drinks around the world.

Episode 37

Word Stories: OK

Ok. It’s a short two-letter word that means everything is all right. And it is used around the world in countless languages. Find out how this small word spread all over the world, ok?

Episode 36

Learning Strategies: Mistakes are good

Many English students are afraid of making mistakes. Don’t be that student. Mistakes are good and a vital part of learning anything.

Episode 35

Reasons for English: Where does English come from?

In this episode, we look at the origins of English. Where did it come from? Why did it start on the island of Britain? Who were the Anglo Saxons?

Episode 34

Word Stores: South America

There are 13 countries in South America, from Colombia in the north, to Chile in the south. Find out the origins and the meanings of the names for all of these different countries.

Episode 33

Word Stories: Sandwich

It is a word, and a meal, that is famous all over the world. The possibilities are endless, but where did the word ‘sandwich’ come from? Listen to find out more.Episode 32

Reasons for English: Silent letters

Have you ever asked yourself why English has so many silent letters? Does it seem crazy and frustrating to you? Well, listen to this episode to find out the reasons why silent letters exist in English.

Episode 31

Phrasal Verbs

All English students across the world get frustrated and annoyed by phrasal verbs. In this episode, we look at some strategies for dealing with phrasal verbs.

Episode 30

Silhouette

The origin of the word ‘silhouette’ is not entirely clear. But it is linked to France, war, and art. Listen to find out more.

Episode 29

Short and Sweet

This episode is full of great ideas for activities that last less than 10 minutes but will help you learn English. They are all short and sweet!

Episode 28

Vaccine

There is hope! A vaccine for Covid-19 is in sight! In this episode, we look at the strange and unusual origin of the word ‘vaccine’.

Episode 27

Little and Often

In this episode, we look at the advantages of spending only a short amount of time each day studying English.

Episode 26

Lockdown

Lockdowns and Covid have affected people all over the world. Listen to this episode to find out the origin and meanings of these two words that will probably come to define the year 2020.

Episode 25

Lexical Scraps

When I moved to Brazil, I had to learn Portuguese. And fast. This strategy, which I called Lexical Scraps, was the single best thing I did to help learn new vocabulary.

Episode 24

Here’s the Thing

The word ‘thing’ is an extremely common word in English, but its origins lie in Viking meetings. Listen to this episode to find out more about this fascinating word!

Episode 23

Understand Your Teacher

It is important to understand why your English teacher has chosen to use certain activities in class. In this episode of English with Stephen, we look at how you can identify the reasons behind each activity.

Episode 22

Hey, You Guys!

The word ‘guy’ is commonly used, but also very controversial. The origin of this small word is even more controversial and its impact on modern culture lies all around us. Listen to find out more about this fascinating word.

Episode 21

How to Choose a Language School or Teacher

You are going to spend a lot of time with your language school or language teacher, so what questions should you ask when deciding who to study with?

Episode 20

Word Stories: Huddle

A huddle is a very common sight in many sports, nowadays. In this podcast, you will discover the surprising origin of the huddle as a word and a phenomenon.

Episode 19

Do Anything You Wanna Do!

There are lots of great learning strategies for learning English. In this episode, we explore why you should do anything you wanna do.

Episode 18

The Word Stories of Gin and Tonic

There are 5 key ingredients in a great gin and tonic. This episode tells the stories behind the words of those ingredients.

Episode 17

Learning Strategies: Using Transcripts to Learn English

In this episode, we look at a fantastic learning strategy that most English students, and teachers, ignore: transcripts. We look at where you can find them and what you can do with them.

Episode 16

Chauvinist Pig!

The surprising origin of the word ‘chauvinist’, what it means today, and how it has changed over time.

Episode 15

Learning Strategies: Using Songs to Learn English

Would you like to learn English while listening to your favourite songs? Use this 4-stage process to do exactly that.

Episode 14

Word Stories: Hooligans

A look into the origins of the word ‘hooligans’ and how it came to be associated with football violence in England and around the world.

Episode 13

Learning Strategies: How to Use TV and Film to Learn English

Follow this 6-step process to learn English as quickly and effectively as possible.

Episode 12

Word Stories: In the office

An investigation into the origins of some of the names of Microsoft Office products like Word, Excel, and Powerpoint.

Episode 11

Top Ten Tips for Learning English Online

Advice on how to study online to maximise your chances of success.

Episode 10

Happy 10th Episode!

A special question and answer session to celebrate the 10th episode of Learning English with Stephen

Episode 9

Word Stories: Boycott

Follow the journey of the word ‘boycott’ from its beginnings in Ireland in the 19th century to its spread all over the world.

Episode 8

Use Your First Language

Discover why using your first language is an useful strategy when learning English.

Episode 7

Brazil in English

English has borrowed many words from all over the world. In this episode, I take a look at some of the words that have come from my adoptive home: Brazil!

Episode 6

Lexical Notebooks

Creating a lexical notebook is the single best thing you can do to improve your vocabulary. I look at why this is true and how you can start one.

Episode 5

Word Stories: Elephants

We look at the origins of two English idioms that include elephants. And tell some elephant jokes.

Episode 4

What is lexis?

What is the difference between ‘lexis’ and ‘vocabulary’? How can thinking about ‘lexis’ improve your English learning?

Episode 3

Bluetooth: An origins story

This episode looks at the surprising origin of the word Bluetooth and why it is used to describe an aspect of modern technology.

Episode 2

Grammar or Vocabulary?

Time is short. As language learners, we need to use our limited time wisely. So should we focus on learning grammar or vocabulry?

Episode 1

My First Podcast

The first time I recorded my voice for other people! I talk about some of the things I hope to do in the following episodes.