show episodes
 
Plain English is the podcast for learners everywhere who want to improve their English in a fun and modern way. Every Monday and Thursday, we explore the events and trends that shape the world in clear, understandable English. We also take a close look at one English expression or phrasal verb in each episode. Best of all, we go at a slower speed so you can understand every word. By listening to current events and trending topics, you will expand your vocabulary, improve your English listeni ...
 
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show series
 
" Earlier this month, Facebook and its entire portfolio of apps went dark for six hours. For most people, it was a minor inconvenience to not be able to get and give likes and text friends. But the outage got many people thinking about how interwoven Facebook is in our lives and businesses. Plus, learn “cut off.” -- At Plain English, we make Englis…
 
" Flu season was a breeze last year, largely because everyone stayed home and wore masks. But that is putting experts in a tricky and unpredictable situation this year. Some are warning that it could be a more severe flu season than usual. Time to get your flu shot! Plus, learn “come to pass.” -- At Plain English, we make English lessons for the mo…
 
" This lesson reviews the latest updates on previous Plain English topics: Britney Spears’ conservatorship legal battle with her father; Havana syndrome in American diplomats; progress on the Notre Dame cathedral restoration after the 2019 fire; the verdict on Impossible Foods and other meatless alternatives; cashless shops, and more. Plus, learn “…
 
" Earlier this summer, El Salvador’s president, Nayib Bukele, announced that El Salvador would be the first country to adopt Bitcoin as a legal currency – without consulting the country’s key business leaders. Some think that the move might help the cash-based economy, but many others think he is placing a risky bet on El Salvador’s already fragile…
 
" Are you thinking about taking an international trip? I just got back from a vacation to five European countries. Each country had different and constantly changing COVID-related rules to follow, which added an extra layer of complication to international travel. I almost messed a couple of things up. Plus, learn “in order.” -- At Plain English, w…
 
" Do you need to be vaccinated, get tested, or quarantine to travel internationally? Short answer: it depends. Each country has its own set of rules that are subject to change at any time. This can make international travel even more stressful than it already is. This lesson covers what you need to know before packing your bags. Plus, learn “to get…
 
" Walt Disney World, the most-visited theme park in the world, is turning 50 years old. To celebrate, the park has planned the “World’s Most Magical Celebration,” which is expected to last for 18 months. Disney is planning new attractions, specialty food items, merchandise, and more that is still being kept a secret. Plus, learn “come to fruition.”…
 
" We all know what a bad apology sounds and feels like, the non-apologetic apologies. It’s easy for apologies to miss the mark, so how do we craft sincere ones? Turns out, psychologists have identified six key elements of a good apology. That’s coming up today on Plain English. Plus, learn “put your money where your mouth is.” -- At Plain English, …
 
" If you walk down the candy aisle in a grocery store, there are endless chocolate bar options: dark, milk, white, salted, fruity, you name it. Today’s lesson reveals four professional chocolate pairings that enhance chocolate’s natural flavor, so you’ll know exactly what to look for the next time you need to satisfy your sweet tooth. Some of the c…
 
" Flip phones were popular in the early 2000s, but Samsung wants to bring them back. They just released the Galaxy Z Flip 3, a modern flip phone with paper-thin folding glass. The glass is rated for 200,000 folds, but the jury is out on the durability of this phone. Plus, learn what it means for something to “hold up.” -- At Plain English, we make …
 
" The September 11 Museum has a wide-ranging collection of artifacts, including architectural remnants, recovered artifacts, and electronic media. The collection on display is powerful yet heavy, but it is a worthwhile spot to visit when in New York. Today’s lesson is the second part of the two-part lesson on the museum. Plus, learn what it means t…
 
" Last week, lesson 397 discussed what happened on September 11, 2001. In part 1 of 2 lessons, today covers the Ground Zero Museum and Memorial in New York that was built where the Twin Towers once stood. The museum tries to strike a balance between honoring the victims and telling the story of what happened there, and you’ll learn what “strike a b…
 
" September 11, 2001 is a day Americans will never forget. Americans that were alive at the time have moments that stuck with them, like where they were when it happened or bits and pieces from the 24/7 media coverage that followed. This lesson looks back on the tragedy and heroism of 9/11 and commemorates the day that changed America. Plus, learn …
 
" In the past, artists needed record labels and agents to promote their music and try to land radio spots. Now, with streaming services like Spotify and Deezer, artists can upload music to the platforms on their own. But this means the competition is higher than ever, and the power is in the hands of the streaming services. Plus, learn “light on.” …
 
" The new movie “Stillwater” stars Matt Damon and Camille Cottin. The movie is inspired by the real-life crime story about Amanda Knox, the American student who was convicted of murdering her roommate while studying abroad in Italy. Knox was not consulted about the new movie using her story, and she isn’t pleased. Plus, learn “inspired by.” -- At P…
 
" Lionel Messi is one of the greatest footballers of all time, and he’s spent his entire career thus far with FC Barcelona. He moved to Barcelona at age 13 to join the young programs associated with the club. Barcelona and Messi both wanted to stay together, but apparently it was financially impossible. Now, he’s off to play in Paris. Plus, learn “…
 
" Comics and cartoon drawings date back to the 1800s. Until recently, comics were typically published in newspapers or books and tell a story over time. But now, there are Webtoons: digital comics that are designed specifically to be read on a smartphone. Welcome to 21st century comics! Plus, learn “identify with.” -- At Plain English, we make Engl…
 
" Japan drew the short straw with hosting the 2020-turned-2021 Olympic Games. Under pressure from the International Olympic Committee, Japan hosted the most expensive and controversial Olympic Games to date. Now that the Games have officially wrapped up, this lesson takes a look at how the Tokyo Olympics panned out for Japan, the athletes, sponsors…
 
" Several American food brands have been around for over a century, including a coffee brand from 1850 and a condiment that dates all the way back to 1876. Some things, and recipes, never change. This lesson gives you a taste of the American diet – for better or for worse. Plus, learn “still around.” -- At Plain English, we make English lessons for…
 
" Several American food brands have been around for over a century, including a coffee brand from 1850 and a condiment that dates all the way back to 1876. Some things, and recipes, never change. This lesson gives you a taste of the American diet – for better or for worse. Plus, learn “still around.” -- At Plain English, we make English lessons for…
 
" “Judge Judy” is an American daytime courtroom television show that’s been airing for over 25 years. The popular show attracts 10 million American viewers each weekday afternoon. Judge Judy settles small disputes and is famous for her signature no-nonsense style. The show is ending next month, but Judge Judy’s legacy and many life lessons will liv…
 
" The Delta variant is rapidly spreading throughout the globe, and it’s causing a higher percentage of hospitalizations and serious cases than the original strains of COVID-19. Yet, some people with relatively easy access to vaccines are still hesitant to get jabbed. It’s a complex topic that is rooted in history and distrust. Plus, learn “pale in …
 
" Jürgen Conings was a Belgian soldier that stole military weapons and set off a massive 35-day manhunt in May. He was apparently radicalized by far-right online conspiracy theories. Conings was already on the Belgian watchlist, and there seem to have been some major oversights by the country’s military. Plus, learn “swept up in.” -- At Plain Engli…
 
" On July 11, Richard Branson traveled aboard his own Virgin Galactic rocket ship on the first private flight to space. He beat out his billionaire rivals: Jeff Bezos of Blue Origin and Elon Musk of SpaceX by just a few days. Branson hopes this is the start of commercial space travel becoming more of a reality. Plus, learn “on the way.” -- At Plain…
 
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