Podcasts for learning English
by Sean Newman
Podcasts for Learning English
Why you should learn English with podcasts:
All podcasts, but especially podcasts for learning English , are a convenient and great way to help you improve your English. They are on-demand internet radio talks that you can download to your mobile phone or tablet. It is said that just 20 minutes per day of a listening to an English speaking podcast can have a positive impact on your learning English! You can listen to them lying in bed, on the train back home or just wandering around the city, and let’s face it, sometimes the idea of sitting down with a 300 page English book after a long day of classes isn’t always what you want to be doing!
During your English classes here at Everest Language School you will spend a lot of time speaking, reading, listening and writing which of course is a really important part of learning English. However, you will find that out in the real world in any English speaking country you will come across lots of different accents and ‘slang’ words, and especially in Ireland people speak very fast and with many different accents, even in Dublin alone!
Podcasts for Learning English: Podcasts are a great way to improve your listening and understanding skills. This is possible whether it be an English Learning podcast or even just a regular podcast of a topic you might find interesting. Podcasts often have written transcripts (basically subtitles!) that go along with the speaking, so if you don’t understand a word or phrase that’s being spoken, you might be able to understand it in writing!
Podcasts also allow you to choose the subject that’s being spoken about, so you can learn English and also listen to a topic you are genuinely interested in.
You can also pick the level of English that’s suited to you, so if you are finding one podcast to easy or another too difficult, you can simply pick one that’s more suited to you and your level. You can also slow down podcasts to ½ the speed if you feel its too fast, or speed it up to x2 speed if you really want to challenge yourself.
Podcasts are generally free as well! Some have a small subscription fee, but even when they do they usually offer a one month free-trial, so you can decide if it’s worth parting with your money for.
You might find that listening to podcasts during your spare time will greatly improve your learning of English in the classroom!
Below you will find a list of some of what we think are the best podcasts to help you learn English, there are lots more that you can find on our school’s blog.
Podcasts for Learning English: Our favourites
The English we Speak – BBC Learning English
Like any language, English has plenty of terms and phrases that you won’t find in the dictionary! You may hear them out and about and not understand what someone is talking about! This podcast has a huge selection of 3 minute tutorials explaining in simple terms what these phrases mean! For example if somebody says ‘I’ll give them a taste of their own medicine’ this means to get revenge on somebody.
These podcasts are particularly suited to students with an intermediate level and you find them here at this link – The English We Speak – BBC Learning English
6 Minute Grammar
6 minute Grammar is another podcast produced by the BBC and is updated weekly. The clue is in the name, it’s a 6 minute podcast focusing on a key area of grammar! For many students grammar can often be the trickiest part of learning English. This podcast is great for giving you a short and simple explanation of a key area of grammar with examples of hows its used to!
Its suitable for all levels and you can find it at this link – 6 Minute Grammar
All Ears English
All Ears podcasts for learning English use conversational English focussing on vocabulary. Many of the topics are about the different difficulties people face when learning English and cultural challenges that can contribute to this. There are hundreds of podcasts, many of which also focus on American culture.
To check it out you can follow this link – All Ears English
VOA News Learn English
VOA Learn podcasts for learning English focus on current affairs and news around the world – from the World Cup to Politics! This podcast is great if you’re looking to listen to a news topic that interests you, they have sections on Arts and Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Music and many more. You can also choose the level of English you can listen to the newscast. You can even check your level of English as they have a free English assessment test as well as an ‘Everyday Grammar’ section to help you brush up your skills!
You probably listen to the news anyway so you might as well listen in English! – VOA News Learn English
Business English Pod
Business English Pod is a little different to the other podcasts as it purely focuses on business English. What this means is, it focuses on the English you would need if you were doing a job interview, speaking on the telephone at work, presentations and meetings at work. This podcast also gives you tips on how to write your CV. Business English Pod is great for students who have already got their General English to a good standard and are starting to look for employment in English speaking companies. Job interviews and new jobs can be a daunting experience even if you are a native speaker so why not check Business English pod out and give the native speaking candidates a run for their money at Business English Pod!
Here at Everest Language School we do lots of IELTS Exam preparation courses. These podcasts are aimed at helping you prepare for IELTS Exam. The podcasts are conversational and the host Peter Travis interviews a different English learning student each time about how they did in different parts of the IELTS practice test. These podcasts are a great way to help prepare for your IELTS exam and get some first-hand advice from students who have already taken it!
Check it out at Splendid Speaking!
British Council – Learn English
These podcasts for learning English are great if you’re looking for a podcast that does everything! It’s a one-for-all stop for Grammar, Vocabulary, Business English, IELTS and is suitable for students from Elementary to Intermediate Level. You can also interact with other users and give each other tips about what podcasts you found helpful.
Check it out at Learn English – British Council
IELTSPodcast by Ben Worthington
Learn English with Everest – Our very own podcast
Did you know that Everest has its own podcast. Over the last few years our Academic Director and teachers have created an excellent podcast that will really help you improve your English. There are lots of coversations and chats with English speakers from around Ireland so that you can get used to the different Irish and Dublin accents, there are episodes to help you learn professional English for work, and lots of episodes to help you prepare for the IELTS and Cambridge exams. We are really proud of these podcasts and have done lots of blog posts to accompany them so that you can follow along and learn all the new vocabulary. Check it out today and let us know what you think!
These are just a few of the many podcasts for learning English. Alternating the different podcasts on maybe a weekly or monthly basis is a good idea to ensure you’re getting a diverse learning experience.