Listening to the radio is an effective, economical and lively way to learn English, according to a veteran language instructor. Since graduating from the University of Southampton in 1985 majoring in French and German, language talent Gary Stevens has been working in the language field, especially with English. He joined the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) a year later and worked as a studio manager and producer. He also worked on world services and on-air promotion, after which he devoted himself to promoting the English language. At a recent seminar, Professor Stevens said people learned English for different purposes and had different standards. He said most people learned English for career advancement, while others learned it for their personal development or for social status. He said the rapid development of information technology had created a demand for professionals with high English standards. Therefore, there are different types of English to meet different needs - general English, English for teaching, business, literature, science and technology, music and sports. With more than 10 years' experience in promoting English through the radio, Professor Stevens said the medium had several advantages. It is cost-effective as production costs of radio programmes are low, and listeners only need a walkman, which is portable and comparatively cheap. Moreover, listening to the radio is an enjoyable experience. It allows audiences to explore different opinions from different speakers. However, Professor Stevens said there were some difficulties in promoting English learning on the radio in Hong Kong, as most students did not have the habit of listening to English channels. 'We try to make the programmes as attractive and lively as possible to raise students' interest,' he said. Professor Stevens said if teachers made and effort and took the first step to promote the radio, it would become a popular medium. Adam Rehrut, who teaches English at St Francis Xavier's College, attended the seminar. The English teacher said the seminar had given him a better understanding of radio as a medium to teach English. Mr Rehrut said he would consider using the radio because most students were interested in learning English in a more lively way.