Practice your Skills - NPR Podcast

By Gloria M. Rivera

Sometimes, finding material to practice our skills can be hiding in plain sight. 

Today, I bring you one of my favorite source of practice material: NPR!

With this 50 minute audio and free resource you can practice:

  • Shadowing: Listen to the audio and repeat in the same language what the speaker says. 
    Remember, you are the speaker’s shadow and are a couple of steps behind.
  • Consecutive: Listen to the audio, pause, interpret, and repeat.

    Record yourself and pay attention to what you did well and what can be improved.
    For example, in consec we can add, forget, or change things. This can happen because we are not familiar with the subject or terminology or because we do not have the necessary symbols or abbreviations for note-taking. Once we work on these, your consec will improve!

  • Simultaneous: Listen to the audio and interpret into your opposite language. Try taking breaks, as 51 minutes are too much and our brains cannot do a good job for so long.  

    Record yourself, and pay attention to what you did well and what can be improved. 
    For example, how long is your décalage, do you find your tone and speed easy to follow, or what terminology are you missing. 

  • Note-Taking: Scan the transcript and figure out how many symbols and abbreviations you already have in your mental bag and what you need to develop. 

    Then, listen to the recording and try to take notes. Then, figure out what symbols and abbreviations worked and what can be improved. 
    Remember, that note-taking requires practice, practice, and… practice.

  • Sight translationUse the audio transcription and go into the opposite language
    Record yourself and pay attention to what you did well and what can be improved.
    For example, did you use fillers (i.e. like, ummm), leave long gaps, or have terminology issues.



  • TerminologyThis audio is also great to “mine terminology” and listen to the pronunciation. One of the most frustrating things that happens to me, is when I mispronounce a term and a well intended native EN speaker says “what?”. This way, you can print the text, circle the words you don’t know (so you don’t get distracted and look them up later), and make sure your pronunciation is flawless, darling!

All good things come to an end. But, if you enjoyed this free exercise, let me know! As you know, I love sharing resources related to medicine, translation, and interpreting, but it is more fun when I hear people enjoy it.