Why do learners have difficulties listening in English?

Why do learners have difficulties listening in English?

Why do learners have difficulties listening in English?

Why do learners have difficulties listening in English ? This is a real problem for learners of English or any foreign language and there are no real shortcuts, but there are many tips, based on common sense that you can try out, which we will see in the next podcast.

The reality is that if the ear doesn’t work, then everything becomes difficult in language learning, although there is a clear difference between listening (which is a somewhat active process) and hearing, which is a passive process.

However, if you cannot hear the range of sounds that make up a language, then it will be almost impossible to have a chance of developing listening skills. The mystery is, why is there so little focus on developing hearing skills, whilst a lot of effort is put into listening skills. 

Your brain is also acting like a filter when it hears English sounds, constructions, rythmns or certain syllables. It is filtering out those sounds as foreign which is causing it to completely ignore some of the more important English sounds. 

There are typically 120–150 words spoken per minute in normal audio or conversation and that is a lot of information for your brain to process in very short time. You might feel like you are only hearing a few words that you know really well and you are left guessing what the audio means based on a few words, or worse, you may block and filter them out completely. 

You may be reading this and thinking this process is really hard work and it might sound like it takes a lot of time. And, yes, you are absolutely right and you are definitely going to go deeper with your listening but you will see results in the end as a reward for your efforts.

Just remember that learning is not a spectator sport! Here are some Language Learning tips 

What English sounds like to speakers of other languages And some learning hacks

What difficulties do you have listening in English?

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Yuka The Healthy Eating App

Yuka The Healthy Eating App

Yuka The Healthy Eating App that checks out the quality of your shopping basket
Do you really know what you eat?
Well yes! With Yuka The Healthy Eating App you can scan your products and analyze their impact on your health.

In the blink of an eye, Yuka The Healthy Eating App decodes complicated and sometimes confusing labels for you: you visualise products that are good and those that are best avoided.

Get personalized recommendations for your shopping
When you scan a product that has a negative impact on your health, Yuka The Healthy Eating App recommends a better equivalent product.

So, you continue to enjoy yourself while eating healthier!

An independent evaluation based on 3 criteria

Nutritional quality
60% of the evaluation is based on nutritional quality, which takes into account the amount of energy, saturated fats, sugars, salt, fruits and vegetables, fiber and protein of the product. The calculation method is based on the Nutriscore (brand of Public Health France), built by Professor Serge Hercberg. 

30% of the evaluation is based on the presence of harmful additives in the product. Yuka is based on many sources that have studied the dangerousness of food additives, among which are: “Food additives” Corinne Gouget, “Food additives” Maire-Laure André and the studies of the UFC Que Choisir, The French equivalent of ‘Which’ Magazine.

Biological dimension
10% of the evaluation is based on the biological dimension of the product.

Products considered organic are those with the French bio label (AB) and / or the European organic label (Eurofeuille)
Yuka uses the OpenFoodFacts free database.

Yuka The Healthy Eating App is free and available for download to a smartphone – have a look at the Yuka Website.

Molecular gastronomy

Molecular gastronomy

Molecular gastronomy is a subdiscipline of food science that seeks to investigate the physical and chemical transformations of ingredients that occur in cooking.

Its program includes three areas, as cooking was recognized to have three components, which are social, artistic and technical. Molecular cuisine is a modern style of cooking, and takes advantage of many technical innovations from the scientific disciplines.

The term “molecular gastronomy” was coined in 1988 by late Oxford physicist Nicholas Kurti and the French INRA chemist Hervé This.

Some chefs associated with the term choose to reject its use, preferring other terms such as multi-sensory cooking, modernist cuisine, culinary physics, and experimental cuisine, but they often confuse molecular gastronomy (science) and molecular cooking (technique) or molecular cuisine (the culinary trend based on using molecular gastronomy).

Ferran Adria may not be the creator of the term molecular gastronomy (in fact, he dislikes the term to refer to what he does) but he is responsible for the first major revolution in cooking since the nouvelle cuisine insurrection in the 1970s and 80s.

His base of operations is the El Bulli restaurant in northern Spain close to Barcelona which opens only 6 months a year and functions solely as an experimental lab the rest of the time.

Ferran Adria’s creativity and innovations usually arise from asking questions like why do we have coffee followed by an egg at breakfast, while at lunch we eat the egg first and then drink the coffee?

By answering these questions or at least trying, he may discover unusual flavors and aromas that pair well with each other, new ingredients and chemicals and lab equipment that could aid him in the kitchen.

He also learns from the food industry. In many cases, the techniques and chemicals he uses have been applied in the food industry for years but his creativity and imagination allow Ferran Adria to apply them in a new magical way that will surprise diners.

Listen to Susan ask Chris about his passion for cookery and his experiments and experiences with mollecular cuisine.

A Milestone Birthday celebration in Toulouse

A Milestone Birthday celebration in Toulouse

A Milestone Birthday celebration in Toulouse – a time to reflect, an occasion to celebrate, or a time to dread, or even an occasion to ignore.

Milestone birthdays — from turning 21 to the big 50, 65 and beyond — hit some people very hard.

They can be days fraught with emotion, other people let them glide by without bemoaning the passage of time.

It’s a state-of-mind issue when people can view this as a choice in how they look at it, some can look forward, some look, backwards and some just live for the moment.

What’s healthy to ignore, are the negative aspects of these milestones: This means I’m old and decrepit. It’s all downhill from here.

For many people, birthdays, especially the big ones, make them think about how their life is progressing — or not going as well as they hoped. They can be wake-up calls to improve on health or ditch bad habits.

Sometimes we get so busy we don’t stop to think about what we want out of life and some people spend time re-examining their life goals.

People can ask themselves:

What do I want to do with the years I have left?

What do I want to do with my career?

Is there something I want to do in my life that I haven’t done yet?

Regardless of the birthday, it’s a time to celebrate accomplishments, friends and family – and that is exactly what Susan did.

It can be also be a time to hit the bucket list.

Listen to Susan talk about what she did for her milestone birthday celebration in Toulouse, France.




Hervé Bellut, the creator of this self development board game, has had a varied and interesting career path.

His formal studies were in astrophysics, and as an aerospace engineer he went on to become interested in occupational stress in the workplace. This interest and development into Well Being  seemed a natural path to him because from a young age he had begun to learn yoga and in 1990 he became a yoga teacher and therapist.

Hervé uses meditation and yoga in his therapy sessions, training and workshops, in addition he has written books on the subject and is a frequent conference speaker.

From this experience, Hervé developed the “game” of INVITOSCOPE in order to help professionals in the workplace better understand their motivation, their path to creativity, their decision making process to reach fufillment and improve team building among colleagues.

French speakers would be interested to read “Les 7 invitations de l’Univers” which Hervé wrote in 2015 and is the foundation for his game INVITOSCOPE.









The Invitoscope Website

Cannes film festival 2018 opening night

Cannes film festival 2018 opening night

Cannes film festival 2018 opening night

Cannes film festival 2018 opening night – have you heard about the Cannes film festival ? What are the images which come to mind? Glamour, the red carpet, champagne and movie stars?

In this podcast, a cinema 500 miles away from Cannes tried to reproduce the same glitzy atmosphere and the EFL Podblog was there to enjoy the experience. Listen to what the cinema goers had to say about the glitz and glam before going into the cinema and then their impressions of the film on leaving.

The opening of the Cannes film festival is always a big event and this year the film Nobody Knows opened the festival. This film is part thriller, part family drama starring Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem. The plot starts when Laura (played by Penelope Cruz) returns to her family home in Spain After years in Argentina, for the wedding of her younger sister, Ana. She has traveled from Argentina with her teenage daughter, Irene, and her young son, Diego, though the kids’ Argentinean father, Alejandro, has remained at home.  During the wedding celebration a family drama occurs which then ignites old scars, tensions and deep feelings within the family and notably with an old family friend played by Javier Bardem.

You can watch the trailer here to get a feel of the story line.

The Cannes Film Festival has its origins in 1932 when the French Minister of National Education wanted to set up an international cinematographic festival and the first festival was planned for 1939, however the outbreak of World War II put an end to this plan. So the first Cannes Film Festival saw the first light of day in 1946 when 16 countries were presented.

Nowadays there are 20 films in competition for the famous Palme d’Or, which is awarded for the best film. In total there are 21 awards given ranging from the usual ones for best actor and actress to the more unusual Palm Dog awarded for the best canine performance.

In general the films in competition are a showcase for European and other foreign language films in an attempt to counterbalance the power of the American blockbuster genre.

In spite of the arty seriousness of the films in competition the atmosphere of the festival is one of glamour with a capital G, and before the showing of each film the actors, directors and other members of the production team have to parade in front of a huge bank of photographers, walk the red carpet and then climb the iconic festival steps……. just as the “podcastees” did in a cinema in Toulouse !

Cannes film festival 2018 opening night


See this quiz  too to learn extra vocabulary about films.