Episode 23: Big news! A new name and a new advanced English membership

I'm taking a break over the summer to plan my upcoming advanced English membership, which I'll be launching in the fall. What's more, my website, podcast and membership will all be given a single (new) name, which I'll be announcing later this summer. Have any suggestions or special requests for this membership? Send me an email to info@BetterLanguageLearning.com!

The US Supreme Court

Episode 22: The US Supreme Court and abortion

Last week the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, thereby depriving women in many parts of the U.S. access to legal abortion. In this episode we look at key vocabulary related to the law as well as discuss the American Supreme Court and new evidence-based studies on abortion.

Episode 21: Pesticides, scientific fraud and the moral arc of the universe

In this week's episode I discuss a recent court ruling in the United States on the safety of glyphosate, the active ingredient in the world's most widely-used pesticide and why this coming year is crucial for improving food safety and wildlife protection in the European Union.

Episode 20: The Great Stink of 1858

What can London's sewage crisis of the 19th century teach us about our own environmental crisis? Do we have grounds for optimism?

Episode 19: Eco-anxiety, ikigai and the power of art

What is eco-anxiety? How we can use art as a way of processing grief caused by climate change? I have a brief chat with the environmental scientist, policy maker - and award-winning mosaic artist - Julie Sperling about the therapeutic value of art and how we can use the principles of ikigai to find ways to do our part in the fight against climate change.

Episode 18: We all have an inner voice - what's yours telling you?

In this episode I look into the concept of ANTS (automatic negative thoughts) and rumination. I discuss three techniques for coping with self-criticism. As it turns out, speaking to ourselves in our second (or third/fourth/etc.) language can help us when dealing with emotionally charged situations

Episode 17: Speaking exams: Key language to boost your performance

Learn key words and phrases to help you talk critically about a topic that is very common in speaking exams - learning English. I explore the importance of avoiding superficial answers and approaching questions with genuine curiosity and the dark side of imposing English at work and in universities. Specifically, is requiring fluency in English creating an uneven playing field?

Episode 16: Of binomials, jingoism and inhumane empires

In this episode we find out about binomials as well as some interesting facts about the British Empire, jingoism and why British civil servants are threatening to revolt agains the government's latest plans to deal with refugees.

Episode 15: Talking about Atomic Habits with Tim Warre

The teacher, writer and podcaster Tim Warre joins me to discuss the book Atomic Habits by James Clear. We talk about ways in which language teachers and learners can benefit from this insightful book on habit formation.

Episode 14: The road to Ukraine is paved with good intentions

"The road to hell is paved with good intentions" is a common saying in English. In short, having good intentions does not always lead to good outcomes. I discuss Slavoj Žižek, Aditya Chakrabortty, Naomi Klein, John Mearsheimer and Masha Gessen.

Episode 13: Talking about supply chain economics with Iván

In this conversation with Iván, who's both a student and teacher of English, we talk about an issue of interest to him, namely economics and supply chain issues that have been affecting the world economy. We also exchange ideas on effective language learning approaches, and discuss things such as translation and the use of flashcards.

Episode 12: Carrie Bradshaw and the overlooked advantages of being single

In this episode I discuss Valentine's Day and its Catalan equivalent Sant Jordi as well as delve into research on the hidden benefits of being single. What's more, I look into the concept of "greedy marriages" and why it's okay to want a relationship if you aren't in one.

Episode 11: Talking about books you've never read

What does it mean to be well-read? In this episode I talk about Pierre Bayard's book How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read and why book reviews are an underrated tool for your personal development.

Episode 10: Seek and ye shall find

In this episode I talk about embracing being a nerd and the expression "Seek and ye shall find" and how the Bible, specifically the King James translation, has provided English with a wealth of idioms still in use today.

Episode 9: Is text messaging killing your relationships?

In these challenging times our relationships are more precious than ever. Find out how Marshall McLuhan's media theory can vastly improve our friendships.

Episode 8: J'accuse! Overcoming philistinism in English language teaching

In this episode I talk about some counterintuitive yet helpful advice from one of my favourite columnists and address the issue of philistinism in ELT. Why does literature play such a small role in the teaching of English? Why are we so unambitious in our approach to writing?

Episode 7: An oasis in the desert? Dubai Expo and post-covid culture

In this week's episode I talk about my recent trip to Dubai. This year the emirate is hosting Expo, so I decided to explore a bit of the cultural impact of this international event throughout history. I come to the conclusion that the post-Covid world needs more catharsis-inducing art.

Episode 6: New Year's resolutions worth making

In this episode I talk about New Year's resolutions. Where did they originate? Are they worth making?

Episode 5: New learner interview series on YouTube

In lieu of the usual format, this week I’ve uploaded a YouTube interview with Gorka, an advanced English learner based in Bilbao. The video includes in-video captions so that you can learn key words and chunks from our conversation on a wide range of topics.

Episode 4: Are you in your prime?

Wednesday 22 December: What does it mean to be in your prime?

Episode 3: An inconvenient truth

Wednesday 15 December: Reading is the keystone habit that will transform your English. Find out where to find high-quality, challenging reading materials to make you not just a better English speaker but also a better communicator and thinker.

Episode 2: There's more to advent than calendars

Wednesday 8 December 2021: In this episode I talk about motivation and the concept of advent. You'll learn useful chunks for essay writing and speaking.

Episode 1: What's your Holy Grail?

Wednesday 1 December 2021: Learn the difference between receptive and productive skills and why you, as an advanced English learner, need to shift your focus. Use the interactive transcript and Quizlet flashcards to become a more confident speaker and writer.

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