Radio / New Dynamic English

New Dynamic English is a radio show co-produced by Heartworks International and broadcasted in Voice of America beginning in 2000. It is based on two courses made by DynEd, New Dynamic English (Module 1 to 4) and Functioning in Business. The two courses themselves are adapted into two separate radio shows, with a Story Interlude in between.

  • New Dynamic English is described as a "basic English language course, and an introduction to American people and culture". It is hosted by Kathy and newbie Max Wilson. Its main show is an interview with different guests, with sections of "Daily Dialogue" (dialogue of day-to-day life) and "Man on the Street" starring Kent Moss who interviews people on the street. There would also be a "Question of the Week" segment that is similar to a game show.

  • Functioning In Business is described as "an intermediate level business English course with a focus on American business practice and culture". It is hosted by Elizabeth Moore with the help of Gary Engleton, who hosts "Gary's Tips". The show focuses on the two characters from the course, Mr. Epstein and Mr. Blake.

It rerun in other countries and a podcast exists that excludes the Story Interludes. It features new characters, and Max and Kathy's backgrounds are revealed. It was redistributed in 2015 as an app series, General English Conversations, with most of its content taken out. Fortunately, VOA Learning English still runs both programs TuneIn at the start of the hour.


This radio show exclusively provides examples of:

  • A Day in the Limelight: Max went from a regular narrator who rarely talks to the guest into being a subject of a two episode interview.
  • Adaptation Expansion: We get to know far more about the characters' background from the original software.
  • Adaptation Induced Plothole: In the software, Max says that he has lived in San Francisco "all his life", while in the radio show, he says that he was born in Portland, and then moved to San Francisco when he's in college.
    • Max's daughter and Kathy's cat Spock from the software weren't mentioned at all in the radio show. In the radio show, Max says he has a son named John while Kathy says that she has some pet fish. One assumption is that Max's daughter died because in Module 4 of the software, it was mentioned that Max had children.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Max went from "Maxwell" to "Max Wilson", although it's agreed upon that he'd be "Maxwell Wilson" instead.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: Kathy seemed a bit more cheery than the software, but Max is definitely upbeat and peppy compared to his software counterpart.
  • Adapted Out: Module 5 to 8 of New Dynamic English were never adapted into the radio format.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Max talks in a more cheerful way than the other men in New Dynamic English. It seems that other characters treat him this way as well as Elizabeth and Kathy would occasionally copy his way of talking when they talk to him. He also appears to have No Social Skills as he was being rude to Kathy and Elizabeth. He is also implied to have an obsession with Steak as he's called "Mr. Steak" by Elizabeth.
  • Amicable Exes: Kathy says that she cares about her ex-husband, but she doesn't love him anymore. Not only that, she also says that they might be just friends.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Boris (a Russian)'s last name. If you search "Bolinobol" on Google, chances are that you'll find a New Dynamic English-related site.
  • Audio Adaptation: The educational course, which is part of a software, is adapted into a radio show along with Functioning in Business.
  • Author Appeal: There are two instances where a white man and an Asian woman are married. The writer may be Andy Blasky, but the one who found DynEd including New Dynamic English Lance Knowles is married to a Japanese woman. May or may not be a coincidence.
  • Belated Backstory: The software characters, especially Max and Kathy, are given more interesting characterization.
  • Birthday Episode: A Story Interlude has Max talking about his son's birthday party, tiredness ensues.
  • Blind Date: Elizabeth had one with "a friend of a friend".
  • Call-and-Response Song: All the Jazz Chants except for the counting one is considered this.
  • Canon Foreigner: While some if not all of the characters of New Dynamic English from Module 1-4 appeared as guests for the radio show, there are new characters being interviewed.
  • Childhood Friends: Max and Bobby King, albeit Max forgetting him for a while.
  • Closet Geek: Sure, Max is a businessman working for a computer company, but in the radio show, Max tries to hide (and fails to) his interest towards computer games, especially Computer Soldier, a game for a demographic as old as his son John.
    Larry: "Actually, I was thinking I might give some of these computer games a try. Computer Soldier looks like a fun game."
    Max: "That's a great game!! I play… I mean, my son plays it all the time."
  • College Radio: Max says that he had worked at a college radio station before, and because he liked the job and he was pretty good at it, he changed jobs from a businessman to a radio host.
  • Composite Character: Richard and Jenny Chin are composite characters of Richard's family from the game's Module 1 and Module 6.
  • Constantly Curious: Elizabeth described herself that she discovered that she likes to ask questions when she worked at a local radio.
  • Dance Party Ending: Subverted that there's no dancing, but in the last Story Interlude Larry invites all the hosts to his party.
  • Death by Adaptation: Possible explanation for Max's daughter's disappearance in the radio show.
  • Demoted to Extra: In New Dynamic English, Pierre was one of Kathy's friends and even worked together with her. Not so much in the radio show, where he's only a guest for a few episodes.
  • Educational Song: The Jazz Chants, used strategically for the listeners to learn English better. Even if there's actually music, none of the "singers" actually sing, though.
  • Election Day Episode: A two-part topic in the Story Interludes talk about voting: one for tax payment and the other one for the representative of Congress.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: John wants a pet monkey for his birthday.
  • Fake Interactivity: This is what Max usually does instead of interacting with the guests.
  • Family Versus Career: Rare Male Example, Max's reason to quit his job as a travelling businessman.
    Max: "I had to make a lot of business trips. So I was away from home quite a bit. I missed my wife and family. I decided to look for a different job, a job where I didn’t have to travel."
  • Flanderization: Max was called "Mr. Steak" (implying that he's obsessed with steak) because he once said he liked steak in a courseware unit. Then again he did say it about twice.
  • Game Show Appearance: The "Question of the Week" segments with Max as the host and Kathy as the player (and it's always this way). The questions were mundane and easy at first, until he starts to ask about American history.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Discussed by Max and Kathy who are confused what gender Pat Miller (a woman) and Sandy Steele (a man) are.
  • Gender Scoff: Subverted because Kathy doesn't feel offended, but she laughed and said "Oh you guys!" after Max and Larry were talking about computer games.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Kathy explains that the reason she divorced with her ex-husband was she got cheated.
    Kathy: "I worked during the day, and he worked at night. We never saw each other. And then he started seeing other people, other women."
    • This exchange:
    Max: "Hi, Elizabeth. How was your visit to Boris's lab?"
    Elizabeth: "Interesting, but I can't talk about it."
    Max: "Ah, a secret, huh?"
    • When asking about Pat and Sandy's gender, Max asks "Who's the man and who's the woman?" Kathy response was "Excuse me?"
    • Kent Moss tried to guess the titles of a supposedly season-themed series of paintings. One of them has a "big red shape" and "bright green grapes". Ken thought that said painting is titled "Summer", but the artist said that it's called "Mother".
  • Girls' Night Out Episode: Kathy and Elizabeth do this several times, often talking about relationships.
  • Good Parents: Max and Karen Wilson love their son John so much that Karen has to have a part-time job while Max has to spend two days a week working at home. Max also loves to talk about his son when he's got the chance.
    • Max spent most of his energy to buy things for John's birthday party while Karen even baked two cakes.
    • Karen bought a history book for John while Max and Karen agreed not to tell him about it otherwise he'd be too lazy to read.
    • Max brings John to many places including the dentist and a rock concert.
  • Harassing Phone Call: Max said that he got a phone call from a man who claimed to be his brother during night time. Both Max and his wife are upset.
  • Hackette: Karen, Max's wife, is a computer programmer who worked for the same company Max worked for.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Max and Bobby King were this as children, so much that they called themselves "brothers." No wonder Max got confused more than 10 years later after Bobby claimed to be Max's "brother".
  • Hide Your Gays: Most likely Simon Tompkins and his "friend" and (implied) room mate Tony, especially in the episode "The Hotel Was in the Center of Town", which describes Simon and Tony going to a hotel in Santa Fe where they have dinner and watched an opera. He also described his relationship with Tony even further in "My First Camera" where he said that he moved to Boston with Tony in the year Massachusetts made discrimination against sexuality illegal. For some reason "The Hotel Was in the Center of Town" got removed in most versions made by countries outside of USA.
  • Mixed Ancestry: Gary was born from an American father and a Korean mother.
  • Most Gamers Are Male: Kathy acknowledges the inversion when Max says that he bought John a computer game as a present.
    Kathy: "All boys like computer games."
  • Multi-Part Episode: In "New Dynamic English", the Review episodes take up a week.
    • The Story Interludes have their own examples. Some are two-part, notably Larry's grandson falling ill, the election, and Max's son's birthday party. But one has five parts: Max's mysterious "brother".
  • No Social Skills: Despite being a businessman at one point of his life, Max is this at some degree as he still does some inappropriate behavior, such as suddenly asking Kathy out for lunch and asking Elizabeth to a concert.
    • The people depicted in the examples of what not to do by Gary Engleton are this.
  • Office Romance: Max, who was a businessman, said that he met his wife Karen, a computer programmer, at his workplace.
  • Older Than They Look: Max is surprised to learn Larry had been working on the radio for 40 years because he looked so young.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Characters from the software were given last names, except for Kathy.
  • Opening Narration: In the radio show: "New Dynamic English is a basic English language course and an introduction to American people and culture."
  • Otaku: Kent Moss once interviewed a Superman fan who has "a hundred Superman comics", would only read Superman comics and said that he even wants to be Superman, to the point where he wears his costume. (A real life fanboy would likely have far more than a hundred Superman comics.) His current passion of Superman is questionable, because he's selling the comics and he said he read them when he was a boy.
  • Podcast
  • Recap Episode: The "review" episodes.
  • Radio Drama: The radio show looks more like a reality series but with fictional characters. The Interludes are as close as it could be to a radio drama.
  • Sequel Series: 'The show takes place after Max retired as a businessman and Kathy moving away from New York.
  • 65-Episode Cartoon Subverted. The radio show lasts for 26 weeks (two seasons) but one week consists of three episodes.
  • Talk Show: The Audio Adaptation counts as a fictional talk show, but unlikea Spoof Talk Show, it's not funny.
  • Token Romance: Elizabeth is very prone to this with Boris Bolinobol. Kathy sort of has has one with her ex-husband.
  • 2-for-1 Show: Three, in fact. New Dynamic English, Functioning in Business, and the behind-the-scenes Story Interlude that comes between.
  • Welcome Episode: Sort of. In the interlude after the first episode, Max gets greeted for joining Kathy and Larry to do the New Dynamic English radio show.
  • When I Was Your Age...: Larry does this occasionally, like talking about how during his days black people didn't have as many rights.
  • Working Through the Cold: Kathy gets a cold during one episode, but it didn't affect the show whatsoever.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Radio/NewDynamicEnglish