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  • New Season of Serial Podcast

    If you’re looking for a great podcast to improve your English listening skills, look no further, Serial has released their second season. This is a well produced, high-quality podcast that does a single, very in-depth story each season.

    Last season the covered the story of a man who said he was wrongly accused of murder. I discovered the episodes about two weeks before the last one was released, and binged on them until I caught up. For a few days, I seemed to have my earbuds glued to my ears.

    This season’s story is about Bowe Bergdahl, an American soldier who left his base in Afghanistan in June of 2009, and spent 5 years as a prisoner of the Taliban. The Bergdahl story has been somewhat controversial and mysterious, and got political when the Obama administration traded him for 5 Taliban prisoners that had been held in Guantanamo Bay. If it’s anything like last season, once you start listening, you won’t be able to stop.

    To listen to these, you’ll probably want to have at least upper-intermediate level English. We’re going to create a lesson series to go with the episodes. If you’re interested in taking these lessons, let your teacher know (or register for classes).

    Here’s a quick listening exercise based on the first 5 minutes of episode one. Listen and see if you can answer the questions below.

    Click here to listen to the audio.

    Answer the questions below in comments, and we’ll respond.

    1. He was the U.S. soldier who was captured by the Taliban and held captive for ___ ___ __ 5 years.
    2. What does the phrase above mean?
    3. What does the narrator say Bergdahl looks like? What do you picture from her description?
    4. One or two of the guys ___ __ to where Bergdahl is sitting.
    5. What does she say it’s like when the 2 sides meet and shake hands?
    6. What do you learn about the controversy surrounding Bergdahl from the audio clips?

    We hope you enjoyed the rest of the podcast! Let us know if you’re interested in lessons that follow this story.