The Weekend Listener is an eclectic list of noteworthy podcasts and radio recordings, old and new, curated for your listening pleasure. For more listening tips please search the website for previous instalments.
Idioms are a very peculiar feature of ‘natural language’. Defying the rules of syntax and semantics, they usually don’t make much sense at first glance. Learn more about them in this episode of the Words for Granted podcast. [ Duration: 22’41’’]
Speaking of idioms, here’s an opportunity for ESL learners to enrich their vocabulary with about twenty winter-related phrases and idioms. Part of the English Like a Native podcast with Anna Tyrie, the episode is specifically designed for English language learners. [Duration: 35’02’’]
This episode of The Folklore Podcast is an interview with A. J. West, the author of “The Spirit Engineer”, a recently published gothic historical novel on the subject of Edwardian spiritualism—namely, the fascinating and tragic story of William Jackson Crawford, an early paranormal investigator, nowadays largely forgotten. [Duration: 54’16’’]
Long admired for their military prowess and courage in battle, the Spartans remain to this day a symbol of discipline and social order—not necessarily in the positive sense. In this interview for the History Extra podcast, historian Andrew Bayliss discusses the Spartan state and its darker aspects. [Duration: 41’]
CULTURE & SOCIETY
Typical of Christmastime and the midwinter season, wassailing is an old English folk tradition. In some parts of England, wassailing includes singing songs and drinking to the health of trees (apples, in particular), among other folk rituals. This episode of New World Witchery contains a wonderful collection of wassailing songs and stories, perfect for these cold winter days. [Duration: 55’14’’]
RELIGION & SPIRITUALITY
For some, losing faith is a liberating experience; for others, it can be traumatic, leaving a gap in their sense of belonging and personal identity. This episode of Earshot from Australia’s Radio National addresses the phenomenon of the loss of religion. [Duration: 28’]
Is there a podcast episode you’d like to recommend on these or related topics? You’re very welcome to share it in the comments section below!