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Archive for April, 2013

Title: I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere
Speakers: Scott Monty and Burt Wolder

This time, I would like to recommend to you the series of podcasts which are provided on the blog “I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere”. The site is hosted by the true admirers of the most famous detective in the world. As I am very interested in the stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in general and as Izabela and I are preparing a presentation about Holmes at the moment, I was looking for some useful materials on the Internet. I came across that blog and I am simply overwhelmed by the amount of work which was done by the authors to provide us with the opportunity to learn more about our favourite literary character. ūüėČ
The blog has started in 2007 and it is still being continued. There are 50 different episodes published – each of them consists of one podcast. And I have to underline that these are not short extracts which last only 15 minutes – every podcast from “I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere” is at least 30 minutes long; what is more, some of them last even an hour or consist of two parts.

So far, I have listened to three of them – “Sherlockian 101” (episodes 4 and 5) and “On Conan Doyle” (episode 38). These podcasts are obviously very pleasant to listen to. To me, they really sound like a casual conversation between close friends who are fascinated by Sherlock Holmes.¬†For those of you who have not been aquainted with Sherlock yet (are there any such people?), I strongly recommend listening to episodes 4 and 5, mentioned above. The authors explain there the phenomenon of Sherlock Holmes, advise where we should start our adventure with him and show how popular he is throughout the world. For me, it was very interesting to find out how many different societies and organisations devoted to Sherlock Holmes are there in the world and how do they function or how can we get into them.

In the episode 4 there is also one extremely wonderful thing – the authors provide us with the list of the Conan Doyle’s favourite Holmes stories. Maybe it would be nice to start our journey with Sherlock or refresh our acquaintance with him from those stories, wouldn’t it?

by Alicja

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Title: James Joyce. From Ulysses, Lestrygonians.

Speaker: Professor John Bishop

Provider: UC Berkeley

On my final exam from a course on “Ulysses” my first question was whether I would recommend this book to someone else. Well, I would. With caution. It is truly a masterpiece, but one difficult to understand. I must admit that once I grew so frustrated with the book that I hurled it across the room (and this is not a norm for me, far from it). After finishing the novel I can honestly say that everyone should read it. It is very complex – there are many references within the book, recurring themes. Sometimes a veiled reference comes before the explanation itself. Joyce did not particularly bother with the reader’s comfort. However, having said all that, “Ulysses” is a masterpiece. The many narration techniques show the story from different angles. The first time reading you will be frustrated beyond belief and sometimes lost. I was lucky enough to be reading it under the guidance of¬†prof.¬†Oramus, who made the process easier on our class, telling us what to look for in the text and explaining references. So, the second, (and third, and fourth – you won’t resist) time you read the book you will come to appreciate it more and more.

The podcast is a little like this. It focuses on a part from the middle of the book – “Lestrygonians”.¬†It is a good representation of what you might expect from “Ulysses”. It is seemingly chaotic, branching into many digressions. And yet it has an inner structure, making it a pleasant listening material. I have just one warning – the episode selected is focused on food – so don‚Äôt listen on an empty stomach. There is not much more I can say – I’m afraid nothing can prepare you for Joyce.

As always, listen, enjoy and please comment. Pretty please?

by Izabela

P.S.¬†I’m sorry that the link provided is on iTunes – I know not everyone uses this program, but I can’t find anything else.

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Title: Listen to English РLearn English Podcast

Author: Peter Carter

Today I’d like to recommend a brilliant podcast I use for teaching. As the title of this post says this series is¬†the essence of¬†Britishness. So far my favourite episode¬†is titled¬†A nice cup of tea. I won’t even add anything – the title speaks for itself.

As for the technical stuff , the speech is slow, but at the same time the subjects are interesting. The episodes vary in difficulty, so they are suitable for students on different levels. The only thing that bothers me is the music added to the episodes. But that is just my opinion – usually I’m all for using different tools for learning, but I must admit I didn’t like any of the songs included in the podcasts. But maybe that’s just me – I have a weird taste in music.

I must admit I do listen to a lot of podcasts, but it took me a while to find one I could recommend as a learning tool for intermediate students. I mean the first one that comes to mind is always Stuff You Should Know, but it is too difficult for beginners.

This series is entertaining, quite easy and the episodes are short. Plus there is the enormous help of transcripts and exercises on the website.

As always, go listen and come back to comment. And if you have anything to recommend, please let me know РI really need something new to write about.

by Izabela

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