Podcasts are a great way to learn English on the go! Pick up new vocabulary on your commute or practice your English listening skills at the gym, you can listen to podcasts wherever you are, and even better, most of them are absolutely free.
Listening to podcasts can assist you with listening to different English accents, recognise tone of voice and understand when people stress words in a natural way. This will, in turn, increase your understanding of native English speakers and improve your pronunciation of words.
We asked BSC teachers for their podcast recommendations to complement your English lessons and help you to learn English outside of the classroom.
The Best English Language Podcasts
Learn English Podcasts from the British Council
Learn everyday English with the British Council’s Learn English Podcast series. Ranging from fictional drama and jokes to quizzes and language advice, this podcast is suitable for all levels. It aims to improve your listening skills and develop your vocabulary, with a transcript and interactive exercises available alongside each episode.
6-Minute English from the BBC
Practice your listening skills with these 6-minute episodes from the BBC, providing listeners with a fascinating way to learn and practice English every week. Focusing on everyday vocabulary and a dialogue between two people, this is an excellent way to learn English in the real-world. Great for beginners, each podcast is spoken at a slightly slower speed than usual. In addition to audio, you can also find the transcripts, vocabulary and weekly quiz questions (hint: you’ll need to listen to the episode to answer the question!)
Learn English with the British Council and Premier League!
Listen up Football fans! The Learn English with the British Council and Premier League is perfect for people who are learning English and love football. You’ll have lessons on grammar and vocabulary alongside football-based content. Slower speech speed and an engaging subject makes this a game changer in Learning English, and make sure you’re a player of the week in class!
IELTS Energy Podcast
Enhance your exam preparation with IELTS Energy 7+. Lindsay and Jessica from All Ears English give you the tips and tricks to pass your IELTS exam, using real English examples, covering pronunciation and native English vocabulary. This one may be more suitable for Advanced ESL speakers, but it’s definitely one for those wanting to expand their English knowledge and wanting to pass their exams.
Luke’s ENGLISH Podcast
A firm favourite at BSC, Luke’s English Podcast is an award-winning audio show for learners of English as a foreign language. As well as being an English teacher, with CELTA and DELTA qualifications, Luke is also a comedian, so this podcast combines his skills as an English teacher with skills as a stand-up comedian, creating engaging, educational and entertaining episodes. This is a great one to help learners of English to practice their listening skills in their every day lives. With over 600 episodes, transcripts and videos, there is plenty of content to catch up on between class!
Stuff You Should Know
Stuff You Should Know, often abbreviated as SYSK, is an award-winning podcast and video series which educates listeners on a wide variety of topics, often using popular culture as a reference giving the podcast comedic value. The speed of speech is often slightly slower than most podcast, and as such makes for much easier listening for students. Because each episode covers a different topic, there is a huge variety of themes to pick and choose from.
Lore is a podcast about non-fiction scary stories. Each episode examines historical events that show the dark side of human nature (usually through the lens of folklore) and is presented in a style that's been compared to a campfire experience. Slower speech and clear pronunciation make this easier for non-native speakers, and the stories are different, interesting and definitely not what you’ll learn through in your standard English classes!
This American Life
This American Life started as an hour-long weekly radio and is now one of the most popular podcasts in the English speaking world. Each week they choose a theme and put together different stories around the theme. They could be love stories or stories about crime and politics. Although the vocabulary used on the show might be challenging, they provide full transcripts of all of their episodes on their website, so you can easily read and listen at the same time.
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