Academic Listening

When I drive to work I often listen to BBC Radio 4 in the car. Again and again I am struck by what a great resource this is for students. At the moment there is a fascinating series of lectures on China being broadcast in a series called ‘The Reith Lectures’. Every year the BBC invites leading figures to give a series of lectures on radio and these lectures are called ‘The Reith Lectures’ in honour of Sir John Reith, the first director-general of the BBC. I have mentioned this resource before because the BBC holds archives of these lectures which you can listen to online, and they have the transcript too!

This year’s lectures are about China, its history and its relationship with the west. I have a lot of Chinese students and I have found this year’s lectures riveting. (New word? Don’t rush for your dictionaries – try to guess the meaning from the context. If you guessed very interesting then you are correct!) I am going to show you the link to the page for this year’s series of Reith lectures where you can listen to these lectures. If you are Chinese and wanting to improve your listening skills then there is no excuse for not listening to these lectures – don’t you want to know what westerners are saying about you?! The only thing about this page is that you cannot open the transcript and listen to the lecture at the same time – so listen first, then read if you need to, then listen again. If you want to read and listen at the same time then you’ll have to copy and paste the transcript into a word document which you can look at as you listen. Here’s the link to the Reith lectures on the BBC.