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How to Practice English During Summer Vacation

By Zsuzsa Londe, Ph.D. 

Students ask this question at the end of our spring semester classes.  It is a good idea to plan to do something every day to maintain or improve your English skills. If you did not have the option to take an ALI class this summer, here are a couple of suggestions that are interesting in content and will improve your oral skills.

1. NPR (National Public Radio) is a nationwide radio station with about 900 stations in the United States.  Go to www.npr.org or to www.kcrw.com, the websites of the national and the local (LA) radio stations respectively, and listen to the broadcasts, find in-depth reporting on the latest events, and read the transcripts of the reports.  While you are getting the most up-to-date information from around the world, you are also “updating” your English. “Morning Edition” is one of my favorite shows that I listen to on the 89.9FM station (KCRW) on my car radio.  What sets these radio stations apart from others is that they are funded by the listeners and non-profit organizations, and as such allow for unbiased and well-balanced reporting and views.  They have a lot more interviews and discussions than other music concentrated stations.  Students from years ago write to me sometimes how important these stations have become to them as the source of news.

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