Best Podcasts for Learning English
Podcasting offers tremendous value to listeners in several areas such as business, entrepreneurship, education, psychology, technology etc. Learning English with podcasts is one of them.
How to Learn English with Podcast?
Research suggests that listening has an important place in language acquisition. The sound, rhythm, intonation and stress of the language can only be perfectly adopted through listening. Since listening forms the concrete basis for complete language proficiency, as per research, podcasts have a lot to offer in this scenario. English language podcasts are a great way to learn English fluently.
If you're interested in reading more about the underlying research, you can check it out here
Learn English Speaking Easily
Before we start. I want to be honest with you!
I have a tendency to lose focus and miss out on parts of the content when I listen to podcasts while doing other activities such as cooking or driving. Many a times I end up rewinding few minutes of the episodes due to loss of context.
If you are like me, and you're interested in using podcast for english learning, losing focus can become a disadvantage. Learning english by podcasts will require an active listening approach. Therefore, acknowledging some of your own listening barriers can be a good way to create an optimal environment that helps you effectively listen and learn english by podcasts for free.
I want to help you start the process of finding your barriers to effective listening by listing down some of the common issues faced by english learning beginners. My hope is that this helps you find yours!
Barriers for Effective Listening
Some of the main reasons why learners find difficulty in listening are the following:
- Lack of effort to understand every word while listening
- Laziness to build up vocabulary gradually over time
- Difficulties with accent and pronunciation
- Low concentration power
- Distraction due to physical or environmental settings
How to Overcome Barriers for Effective Listening
Learning english with podcasts undoubtedly requires effective listening. Few minutes of lost focus can lead to loss of context. Therefore, planning few strategies to help out is an approach to consider. Here are some that have worked for me and other podcast listeners.
- Create the right environment A quiet room with pen and paper to jot down notes can go a long way. Getting rid of distractions and concentrating on the content is important while trying to learn something new. So plan and set up a nice and quite environment to get started.
- Listen & Summarize Listening to the main idea and summarizing helps in understanding the context to improve comprehension. It is also a good idea to create a list for all the new vocabulary you come across. Doing so not only improves retention but also provides you notes that you can revisit for better learning.
- Slow it down Most podcast apps have the option to slow down the speedof streaming. You should consider using this in case you have difficulty in following the accent or pronunciation.
- Review Show Notes Podcast creators usually upload show notes or transcripts on their podcast websites, and link to it is easily available in the episode description in most cases. This means that you can listen and read at the same time, which can double your speed of learning english easily.
I consistently practice these points, especially the top 2, and I've observed significant improvement in content retention. I suggest you give these a try and notice the change soon.
Now that you have this under control, let's look at the best podcasts to learn english language.
Best Podcasts for Learning English
You may be looking to learn English for different reasons, and your current level will play a role to choose the most effective podcasts for learning english. That’s why, to help out I have created some categories that might be relevant to make it easier for you to browse through. Check it out!
English Learning Podcasts for Beginners
- ESL Pod
For those who consider English as the Second or Foreign language, this podcast fits right in. Created by former professors of applied linguistics and education, the ESL Pod offers a perfect blend for those who wish to improve English listening as well as speaking.
A podcast dedicated to help you improve English vocabulary and use more effective words while communicating your thoughts. It's a perfect way to learn a little something and sound smarter as a result of it.
Indian Podcasts for English Learning
- Indian Voice: Learn English in Hinglish
Hosted by Bhavna Verma, the Indian Voice podcast aims to give useful English speaking lessons to help improve your career prospects. Being proficient in English can help boost your income by multifolds, especially for Indians. Hence, if you're looking to speak English correctly, Bhavna's English grammar lessons can prove to be very useful for you.
Do you hesitate in speaking English confidently? Worry not. Host of English Learning Made Easy, Sajed Ali Khan, will help you get better through story telling, motivational lectures, dicussions about difficulties in grammar and vocabulary and so on. It's proven to be very useful to address common problems faced by many English beginners.
Top Podcasts for IELTS Preparation
- BBC Learning English: 6 Minute English
These short episodes are perfect to help you with IELTS. If you're currently struggling with listening skills, you should certainly consider this podcast. The categories in the episodes coincide with IELTS exam, and the transcripts can be useful for preparing with better vocabulary.
Once you are comfortable with BBC English Learning podcasts, take your level a notch up by listening to Roman Mars explain how design affects every part of our lives. Not only does it challenge you to improve English, but also teaches you a little something about the design behind great things.
Although based on a simple concept, where a famous person discusses the music records they would take if stranded on a desert island, the podcast is an great example of speaking naturally. Improving intonation and sounding like a native speaker can be hugely beneficial while giving the IELTS exam.
Pay attention to the way the conversation flows and how they explain the reasons for selection. Constructing your thoughts like that can help prepare for your speaking test.
American English Learning Podcasts
- Speak American English
This podcast aims to help you speak clear and easily understood American English without having to sit in classrooms or doing boring homework.
The podcast creator guarantees to help you Speak English like an American within 30 days.
To help you learn how to speak english in the real world, American and British fluency coaches take you beyond the classroom, and teach natural conversational lessons. You can learn relevant pronunciations and slangs in order to follow any fast-speaking natives.
Podcasts to Learn British English
- Luke's English Podcast - Learn British English
This is an award winning podcast for English learners. You can naturally pick up British English while listening and having some fun.
You can now learn British English by listening about English culture, history, news and current affairs.
Canadian English Learning Podcasts
- The Can Learn English Podcast
A very useful podcast for learning not only Native Canadian English, but also learn a little something about Canada's Culture and History.
Rating:4.8 stars from 169 ratings
This podcast provices a good way to get familiar with Canadian's day to day english language. Learn the Canadian way of making small talk and navigating heal scratching colloquial expressions.
Podcasts to Learn Australian English
Aussie English Australian English 101
Whether you plan to travel, to work or to live in Australia or you just have an interest in Australian culture, history and spoken dialect of English, the Aussie English podcast offers it all.
Rating: 4.7 stars from 1051 ratings