Sandra Tsing Loh hosts a 90-second radio show called the “Loh Down on Science”http://www.lohdownonscience.org/–the show is dedicated to finding humorous ways to introduce the general public to interesting science. Every episode is transcribed with about 95% accuracy.
You can work on fluency in three ways:
1. Practice telling someone else in English what you heard about. Speak and/or write without looking at the transcript. Even better, actually tell someone else, by speaking or in an email.
2. Figure out what’s intended to be funny in the episode you listen to. Often, the humor is a “play on words,” or two different meanings of the same phrase. The title of the website is an example: Sandra Tsing Loh is the name of the scientist/writer/performer who leads the site, and “the low down” means the real information about something.
3. Look up an idiom that you find in the episode, by putting the idiom in quote marks ” ” followed by the word definition in your favorite search engine. For example, in an episode about babies in utero learning which syllables are meaningful in the language of the grownups around them, Loh said “watch your language, parents.” I looked up “watch your language” definition. This gave me multiple views of definitions and related idioms, and let me explore which idiom and dictionary sites I liked.
The Loh Down on Science website isn’t very easy to navigate, but if you click on “THE LATEST LOH DOWNS”, you can see a chronological listing of over 1,800 episodes. To search for topics that interest you, you can click on “SEARCH THE ARCHIVE” and use the search box at the bottom of the page.
When you find an episode that interests you, you can just click “CONTINUE READING”, and you will be able to read the transcript. To listen to the episode, just click on the play icon on the bottom left corner.