It has been almost one year since I’ve started out with my recording-myself-project to improve my spoken English. So far, I have published 34 episodes of “my fluent podcast”. I would like to take the upcoming 1 year anniversary as an occasion to share my insights and explain to you why to this day, I still believe, in general, that it is a good thing to record myself on a regular basis and publish the content.
In my case, the podcasting did not only enhance various skills but also got me in touch with other fantastic language enthusiasts from all over the world – which to me is at least as important as becoming a fluent confident English speaker.
I have studied English many years, sometimes in classes, sometimes on my own. I think there is no need to explain how it worked in school but I will wrap it up for you: a lot of grammar but no real communication training. I could not say a phrase without stumbling over my own words. The reason is clear to me today, I haven’t really trained my pronunciation or my articulation skills back in the days. So it’s a logical result. So far, I have studied in a rather passive way and I had to change that! As I realized that, the time came where I began to take italki lessons. In a short period of time, I felt more confident.
But still, I needed more. Something that makes it possible to measure my improvement and that keeps me motivated on a regular basis.
As a very passionate podcast listener (in English or French) it was just a matter of time until the solution came to mind. I got the idea of producing something by myself. Two flies with one stone: getting my pronunciation practice and sharing all my language-related knowledge with other learners. But there was a lot of fear and self-doubt in the beginning. Why the hell should anybody listen to a non-native English speaker, who is about to become fluent in English?
Finally, to my luck, the motivation to create something and share with others won over my fears. In the beginning, it was really hard though because I had to write down every single word before I could record. I looked up for the correct pronunciation and so on. Sometimes I wrote the whole script for one of my episodes beforehand and sent it to an Italki teacher to get it corrected. Sometimes, I took lessons on Italki to practice the right pronunciation and intonation of the whole script or to find out how I could say the sentences in a more natural way. I even decided to pay for a professional podcast hosting service to get more accountability. These days, I don’t need to write down every single word. My English is not perfect but I am more confident.
The crucial thing – and that is in general when you are learning – is consistency and to not let you down by any fallbacks (and they will come, believe me on that). My original goal, for instance, was to record one episode a week, which I obviously couldn’t reach with my “only” 34 in one year produced episodes. But it’s ok. I am a learner with mistakes and with a life besides the podcast. One thing I had to learn as well was to not compare myself with others. You don’t exactly know the whole situation of another person and it will not bring you any further if you compare yourself with others and get a bad feeling about it. It looks different when you have idols and you think in a positive way, for example, to become as good as your idol.
I got mentioned on various other podcasts or websites. I even conducted interviews with native and non-native speakers. Something, I couldn’t even imagine in my mother tongue one year before! So, the language journey goes on with “my fluent podcast” and I still have to learn a lot but now I am certain, that my passion will bring me further with my English.
The good thing is: Everybody can do it. If you have a device (every mobile phone does have it these days) to record yourself, you can speak about anything you want. You don’t need to spend a single penny. But the results will be incredible! And if you want to receive an extra boost, start out with your own published podcast!
For some of you making videos on youtube or Instagram or vlogging may do the trick for you and finally bring you the results. The possibilities are actually infinite. The crucial thing is to combine passion with English learning… and of course to start out…
What are you waiting for?
What an inspiring story - this is a fantastic idea. What a change from people complaining that they've got no-one to talk to or that they don't know how to improve their speaking skills. You just need to be pro-active and challenge yourself.
I talk a lot about podcasting on my website and I'm a podcaster myself. I'd love to listen to your podcast and perhaps interview you about your experiences of podcasting as an English learner. I think it's such a cool idea and I'm sure my audience would love to hear about that.
Could you maybe share the link here or in a private message to me? Thanks <a href="https://www.italki.com/user/1462198" class="">skarli</a>
Very good Skarli, it was very useful for me to start it seriously ..you told it isn't necessary to compare with others that are good and fluent but i think it could make motivation for learner...i believe that confident and practicing are important too...and it isn't late...just confident, want to reaching the goal, and serious practicing make at least 90 percent of your aim come true...i think i should start...but seriously in this time..
thanks for your useful post...
<ul class="list-inline text-light-gray no-margin-b"><li>wow that's a brilliant idea - would be really challenging! </li><li>
</li><li>my blog post this week is about using podcast/blogcasts for shadow readings. I'm hoping to do a collaboration at some point with a friend and colleague who's also an accent trainer on how to use texts + recordings (so blogcasts, subtitles, any kind of text that comes with an audio) </li><li>
Great minds think alike eh!?
I will have a look at your site very soon! Thx!
I was thinking of the same idea currently but in my case it would be blogcasting for other websites as I have lots of data storage at my disposal and that way I could train my pronunciation. Perhaps a win win situation for another blogger and me...
What a coincidence that you are experimenting with that.