Planet Money is an amazing podcast on NPR. And you don’t have to work in finance to appreciate it. In fact, you don’t even have to be very good with money to reap the benefits. Unfortunately some of my international friends and students aren’t so familiar with NPR. But NPR is a highly reliable news outlet in the US. It is one of the most trusted names in news. But for teachers, they are a perfect source of human stories and listening materials. They produce some of the most incredible content available on the radio and online.
Along with Planet Money, NPR produces shows like This American Life, Invisibilia, Serial, Fresh Air and so many more.
Planet Money is just one of the many shows on NPR worth checking out. As you can guess from the name, it focusses on everything related to business. It’s a good resource for anyone. But it’s especially good for students interested in business or taking business English classes. For teachers, it’s an endless source of topical material that’s easy to prepare and access. Many of the news articles on NPR are accompanied by the transcripts. And this makes it even easier to adapt the content to the classroom or to private study sessions.
It’s a surprisingly fun show. This show floored me and I’m not a money guy or a business person at all. And it’s happened over and over again. What gets me about the show is that it takes a topic that seems overwhelming, and makes it clear and accessible. One episode they did on the financial crisis put the entire thing in perspective and made it all incredibly easy to understand. That’s amazing considering how complex the entire situation was.
Every episode they pick a topic you can relate to and talk about it. Sometimes it’s about small businesses. Other time’s it’s about major corporations. Once it was about why the price of Coca Cola didn’t change for 70 years. Seriously, no price change for 70 years. In a series of episodes they followed oil from where it appears in the ground all the way through the processing stages and into your gas tank.
Check out Planet Money by clicking here or searching for them in iTunes or on your podcast app.