Reza isn’t with me this week, but we have a special guest on the podcast and he is in the best position to answer questions about listening to the news.
Reza and I have spoken about the news before on the following podcasts:
I’m joined today by Stephen Devincenzi. He’s a podcaster and English teacher and I think it’s fair to say news expert because he has a daily podcast that focuses on helping students of English, just like you, to improve their English by listening to news.
Stephen and I talk about why he started this podcast, where he gets his news from, the advantages and disadvantages of learning English with the news, the future of news reporting. Fake news and many other interesting topics.
I thoroughly enjoyed my conversation with Stephen and I hope you do too. Here’s Stephen from SEND7 – the Simple English News Daily podcast.
Where is your accent from? Where are you based now?
His accent is from the southeast of England, Kent. He’s now based in Canterbury. Canterbury is a good place to go to study English. There are many language schools there.
What is SEND7?
SEND7 means Simple English News Daily in 7 minutes. The podcast is like ‘a helicopter view of the world’.
Stephen is an English teacher who has taught English and lived in many countries.
What motivated you to launch your podcast?
The podcast was launched during the COVID pandemic but Stephen had had the idea for a long time before that. He kept up with French and Spanish by listening to the news in those languages.
Does the news depress you?
Stephen is an optimist. A lot of good news isn’t reported. There are many positive things happening in the world that don’t get reported.
Poverty and disease, for example, have decreased over time.
Also, bad things happen quickly and are more likely to make the news.
Where do you get your news from? What are your sources?
Reuters, Associated Press (AP), the BBC, Sky News, Al Jazeera and national newspapers and webites.
An echo chamber is an environment in which a person encounters only beliefs or opinions that coincide with their own, so that their existing views are reinforced and alternative ideas are not considered.
Confirmation bias is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms or supports one’s prior beliefs or values.
Do you ever feel like expressing your own opinion about the news you’re reporting?
The SEND7 podcast only talks about the facts. It’s unbiased. Stephen saves his personal opinion for his friends and family.
What’s the best way for students to learn common news vocabulary?
Keep listening! Don’t give up if you hear difficult vocabulary.
It helps if you know about the news stories already because you have heard them before in your first language.
What are the advantages and drawbacks of learning English with the news from a student’s perspective?
The news is fresh. It’s new every day and relevant.
You can kill two birds with one stone (do two things at once). Listen to the news for 7 minutes while you’re preparing your breakfast in the morning.
How do you see news reporting and the way we receive news changing in the future?
We might go back to trusting mainstream media and respected news organizations.
We will also probably get better at detecting false news and deep fakes.
Younger people tend to be more suspicious and better at detecting false news.
What have you changed your mind about recently?
Stephen is not such a strict vegetarian as he used to be. He doesn’t want to miss out on social interactions and cultural experiences.
What one thing, if you were to tell someone about yourself, would they find difficult to believe?
Stephen only recently got a smartphone. He got his first one in 2019. As a result of getting a smartphone, he discovered podcasts.
Search for Stephen’s podcast, Simple English News Daily, in your podcast player or go to the website: https://www.send7.org/
There are also transcripts that go with the podcast and there’s a weekly quiz!
…it’s your turn to practise your English. Where do you get your news from? Do you trust your news sources?
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Reza will be back next week for another podcast. Until then, have a wonderful week, and thank you so much for listening.
The music in this podcast is by Pitx. The track is called ‘See You Later’