Podcasts have become a major new media over the last decade. There are thousands to choose from; some cover very specific topics while others are more generalized. For people trying to learn English, podcasts can be an excellent way to pick up new vocabulary, train the ear to conversational speech, and improve listening comprehension. We recommend these three podcasts that any student can use to learn English.
The English We Speak
The English We Speak is a fun and short podcast produced by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Each week, a new episode takes a look at a different idiom or slang term and examines how it entered the language and what it means. The hosts speak slowly and take care to enunciate each word as they discuss the episode’s subject in an informal and conversational manner. This podcast is an excellent option for beginner to intermediate-level students.
Stuff You Should Know
Charles Bryant and Josh Clark, two adult men who match detailed research to their child-like curiosity, host this informative podcast. Each episode, they discuss a particular subject in great detail and attempt to explain it. One week they might be explaining how astrology works and the next week they’ll be talking about the history of soda. The hosts keep things lighthearted, and listeners will enjoy the easy conversational style of the hosts.
This popular podcast centers on live storytelling by individuals. The stories on The Moth are all true stories told by the people who lived them. The themes and subjects are as varied as the human condition. Storytelling is one of the oldest functions of language and has an important place in any culture. Listening to people tell their stories is an entertaining and effective way to learn English and develop listening skills. Listeners will also learn about rhythm and cadence in spoken language, which is helpful for developing conversation skills.
From grammar to storytelling, listening to any podcast can offer valuable skills for a new English language learner.