Live Broadcasts



Many teachers and students have asked for longer listening activities that can stretch their listening endurance to new levels. Well, I have created these video activities which were created based on live broadcasts about a wide range of topics. Each video activity includes learning activities and a quiz to improve your English. I suggest watching this video to learn how to make the most of video on this site, including how to slow down the audio and reposition the video window for better viewing.

Open one of the tabs below to find the episodes and the related language activities.

Episodes 21-30

Episode 21: Losing Someone to Suicide and Why Friends Matter

National Suicide Prevention Week (Sun, Sep 6, 2020 – Sat, Sep 12, 2020) is an annual event in the United States to increase awareness of suicide prevention and measures to support loved ones and friends. Yet, in the US and many places around the world, the unfortunate stigma of mental health disorders and suicide erect barriers of shame that prevent us from having meaningful conversation about suicide awareness, prevention, and true healing. As a result, many people suffer in silence and are unable to talk about their struggles, and they may not be able to able to receive meaningful and compassionate support and understanding from caregivers and friends.

However, teachers are often also on the front lines of this struggle when they encounter students or colleagues who are desperately in need of emotional support. While teachers are generally not trained on mental health issues, they still can have an immense impact on students by pointing them to available resources in their local community—they exist at all.

Unfortunately, there still lacks a great deal of understanding on the nature of suicide, and many myths regarding mental illness still abound.

In this episode, Randall relates the story of his son—the mental health issues, the incessant bullying that can happen at school, and the chronic depression—but also the ways in which Josh enriched our lives with empathy and hope. Randall dispels some of the common assumptions about mental health and suicide—from the point of view of a father, not a health professional—and suggests things that friends and family can do to support one and how to experience joy in the midst of grief.

Episode 22: Balancing Career, Family, and Life in the Pandemic Era

Nowadays, a common theme echoed by teachers around the world is that the pandemic has stretched them in different ways, professionally and personally. The words, “struggle” and “growth,” are often spoken in the same sentence when it comes to teachers’ experiences in finding their ways in uncharted territory. In many cases, teachers appreciate hearing the stories of others that help validate their experiences, and the knowledge that they are not alone can help soothe some of the frustration and uncertainty.

Nalleli Becerra Carrasco, an English teacher in Mexico, relates her own experiences in balancing career and family. In this episode, Nalleli describes her own path to becoming a language teacher and some aspects of the educational system in her country. She also relates the impact of COVID-19 on life and schools, including the challenges of caring for the educational needs of her children during this challenging time. Finally, Nalleli details some of her teaching ideas that have made a difference in her classroom and her hopes for the future.

Episode 24: If I Only Had One Day to Live

If today were the last day of your life, what would share with those closest to you that would hopefully serve as the guiding principles of their lives? What would be some of your innermost thoughts that you would tell them beyond, “I love you?”

In 2011, Randall decided to write a book and give to his children with the title, “Chronicles of Everyday Living: What if I only had One Day to Live?” It outlines 13 principles of living that he felt would be important to his own children. In this episode, Randall will read some of his thoughts from the book that are perhaps relevant, not only to parents and friends, but also to teachers who want to instill important values into their classrooms.

Episode 25: Behind the Curtain: A Tour of Randall’s ESL Cyber Listening Lab

Randall discusses the background of his main Web site and answers commonly-asked questions about his work.

Episode 26: “Yes, We Can!” Learning and Succeeding in Learning English in Costa Rica

Randall interviews students from Costa Rica about the challenges and successes in learning English in their country. The talk about the unique features of their culture and conclude by sharing their plans for the future.

Episode 28: Lifted and Inspired: Teachers Who Have Made a Difference

All of us have probably been inspired by people who helped us learn new things, taught us to see the world in different ways, and guided us through difficult times. These life guides could be a parent, a next door neighbor, or a classroom teacher, and their influence often inspires to be better students, friends, and world neighbors.

In this episode, several guests share stories about their favorite teachers, and how these mentors changed their lives.

Episodes 11-20
Randall woke up with an idea that kept rattling his brain. In response to this, he will be discussing the topic of vocabulary development and how to concepts of the Big Bang and word webs can be the tools to greater speaking/writing confidence and ability.
Episode 12: Sharing Our Voices – Language Teacher Swap Shop
Randall reviews his energetic meeting with a number of teachers from around the world through Zoom who shared tips on language learning and technologies to enhance their classes.
The growth of the Internet has touch so many parts of the world, and this has expanded the possibilities of online teaching by bringing together so many teachers and students in many new ways.
In this episode, Randall interviews Shushanik Mamajanyan from Armenia who has found her niche in teaching privately with students across the world. Shushanik introduces her country, talks about the evolution of language education there, the tools she uses to connect with her online students, and her hopes and dreams for the future.
This episode should be of broad interest to teachers and students alike as we seek for common ground on how to make the most of online learning and teaching in today’s world.
On May 28, 2017, Randall participated in the longest endurance event of his life . . . a 160-kilometer ultramarathon through the dry, windy, and cold desert of Utah. (This is like doing four marathons back-to-back.) After traversing the course for 120 kilometers for 24 hours with no sleep, Randall reached a point of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion and collapsed into a chair at an aid station. It was pitch dark at 3:45 a.m. His body and mind screamed at him to quit, competing with his will to honor the memory of his son and mom who had passed away.
Then, something happened that changed his life.
Join Randall as he tells story of endurance and how this experience in some ways reflects the struggle of people to endure hard things. Randall also shares how this story is also related to language learning and teaching.
It is often said that there is a strong correlation between the economic, educational, and emotional health of a country and its people and the efforts of great teachers. If so, what are the qualities of top-notch teachers that change the lives of students? Are there some characteristics that are universal across cultures? Who are defining these characteristics: students, teachers, parents, school administrators, or policymakers?
In this episode, Randall interviews Maysa Adnan, a teacher working in the United Arab Emirates, and they discuss the topic of effective teachers. They share specific examples from their own teaching, and how they have grown and become more aware of these issues over time. Randall and Maysa also talk about the move to more online instruction and how teachers be can effective in this language-learning arena as well.
The teacher’s role is to do far more than simply impart information to his or her students. Instead, teachers are entrusted with the duty to help students blossom, grow, and thrive in multifaceted ways: intellectually, emotionally, and physically. Unfortunately, there are times when teachers can say things that undermine the healthy emotional development of their students.
In this episode, Randall shares 10 things that teachers should be wary of saying to their students and five simple things they can say to motivate and inspire.
Randall discusses his own mistakes and his continued pursuit to do better and some of his favorite quotes that have shaped his thinking.
Guests: Riadh Koubaa, Tunisia, and Keilor Vargas, Costa Rica
Many schools and teachers around the world are wrestling with the future face of instruction starting in the fall and beyond. Over the past four or five months, many schools have gone completely online, but as the world appears to be opening up to some degree, some institutions are opening back up to face-to-face instruction with some accommodations and safety measures, while others are considering a hybrid model of instruction where classes include a combination of face-to-face learning plus online instruction as well. Still others are going to continue with online-only instruction. This episode addresses these areas.
One of the greatest experiences of our lives can come from learning—and often participating in—- the rich cultural diversity of our world neighbors: their customs, their food, their values, their dreams, and their even sorrows. Furthermore, in many places around the world, the faith traditions of people are also at the center of their lives, and yet, the topic of religion seems to produce a wide range of emotions.
Unfortunately, it can at times be viewed as a hot topic—like politics—that should be handled with care from a far. However, I believe that we can find meaningful ways to talk about religious values and traditions that elevate understanding of others, leading to enriching human connections with others. This broadcast will address these issues, and audience participation is encouraged.
Imagine that you are invited to the home of a new acquaintance in a different country, but you are very worried about their cultural practices and customs. You don’t want to offend your host by doing or saying anything that would create discomfort and offense. Unfortunately, understanding other cultures requires a careful understanding of human relationships as well, and just doing a Google search for culture tips can often prove disastrous because people tend to embellish, gloss over, or simply stereotype a culture that they don’t know well.
That said, people sometimes even overgeneralize the behavior of their own people or the customs of their country because they sometimes overlook the wide diversity that exists in different places. Care is always needed in painting a clear and accurate portrait of any group of people and their traditions.
With these ideas in mind, Randall explains some basic tips and concepts on visiting a home in his part of the world and attempts to answer the questions below. Randall hopes to model the types of conversation teachers hope students can learn as they meet others from around the world.
Language teachers around the world are blazing new trails in their language classrooms with dynamic activities that help students improve their language skills and encourage them to become more thoughtful global citizens. Mouna Bouhlel is one of those teachers in Tunisia.
In this episode, Randall talks with Mouna about her country, the language educational system, and the variety of classroom activities that she uses to encourage thoughtful critical thinking, self-reflection, and greater empathy for others. As in other episodes, Randall and Mouna discuss how other teachers around the world can use these same ideas and/or adapt them to regular face-to-face instruction or for online teaching for their own needs. 
Episodes 1-10

Episode 1: New Learning Opportunities

Overview: Randall discusses Memorial Day and the lost of his son, Joshua, and how these experiences have shaped his own life, Web site, and interaction with others.


Episode 2: Seeing the World Through Another Language

Overview: Randall relates insights on how learning a language can help you see the world and other people differently and more expansively.


Episode 3: Memorial Day – What it means to me?

Overview: Randall Davis shares insights on how learning a language can help you see the world and other people differently and more expansively.


Episode 4: The Danger of Stereotyping and How to Avoid it

Overview: Randall explains the danger of stereotyping and what we can do it avoid it. He shares experiences in which his own biases and stereotypes limited his understanding of others.


Episode 5: Behind the Scenes with Randall

Overview: Randall answers the most commonly-asked questions that he has received over the past 20 years about his work (teaching and Web site development) and life, and he invites listeners to join in the conversation by sharing their own questions and comments. Feel free to post your questions here beforehand so Randall can prepare.

Overview: Randall and Karol Ceciliano Rodríguez discuss the impact this pandemic has had on their lives, teaching, and the future, and they give suggestions on how students can even improve their language skills and cultural understanding in the midst of this difficult times. 
Overview: Randall explains the factors that affect listening comprehension that are often hidden right before our eyes. Once you can see them, you can actively make changes in your own study to boost your listening skills to a new level. He also recommends different technologies and Web sites (NOT his own) that can assist in this process.

Episode 8: Transforming My Teaching, Fatherhood, and Life

Overview: Although Randall has been a teacher and father for more than 30 years, some of the greatest learning experiences affecting his work, teaching, and personal life has taken place during the past few years. In this live broadcast, Randall opens up and discusses his life in an unvarnished and candid way—-mistakes and all—-and shares the top books that have helped him focus on better teaching, connection with students, and his family.

Episode 9:Thriving as a Private Online Language Teacher

Overview: The COVID-19 pandemic has radically changed the teaching and learning landscape from traditional classrooms to online educational environments. In many cases, teachers have lost their jobs or have found it difficult to adapt to the new world online teaching with their current school. As a result, many teachers wonder if there is a future for them in the language-teaching profession. In response to this dilemma, Randall interviews Elaine Oliveira, a private teacher in Brazil, on how to get started teaching privately online and finding ways to thrive at it.

Episode 10: How to Make the Most of Online Video for Language Learning

Overview: Randall talks about tips on how to use some Google Chrome extensions on your desktop or laptop browser to control the video playback on my site and other video content on the Internet. Wanna learn how to slow down video better, even within Nextflix? Watch this video to learn how.