While it is important to learn English if you have professional and educational goals, it can get tedious to attend regular grammar and syntax classes.
There are many ways to improve your understanding of the English Language, like getting an ESL tutor. But suppose you want to get better at conversational English and don’t really care for the technicalities. In that case, the best way to learn is by listening to native speakers discuss everyday topics.
Sure, you could watch movies and listen to your favorite radio jockeys to get the hang of the way they speak, but listening to podcasts is quite possibly the best option.
Podcasts can help you learn English by enhancing your listening prowess and giving you an understanding of how to talk like locals do.
Podcasts can be beneficial to your English learning process for several reasons:
Mobility: One of the best things about podcasts is that you can listen to them anywhere and at any time. All you need is a smartphone or tablet, and you can also pause any time you want and pick up where you left off.
Real-Life Applications: Podcasts deal with real-life situations and conversations carried on by real people. This can introduce you to everyday English pronunciations and help you to understand and communicate.
Affordability: Most podcasts are either free or offer good deals that make subscriptions cheap. You mainly need an internet connection to access them.
Are you looking to improve your English? You could also try out these ESL classes if listening to podcasts just isn’t your style.
But if you are ready to give this method a try, here are some of the top podcasts that can help you learn English:
All Ears English
Started by three US girls, this podcast has an interesting take on how to learn English. Lindsay, Jessica, and Michelle believe that you don't need English grammar books or dictionaries to learn the Language. Instead, it is important to connect with it to understand how to use it in everyday life.
The podcasts are hence, centered on topics that are great to start conversations. These include issues related to the LGBT community or being single in New York City.
The series is not very educational, but you can definitely understand English better and improve your pronunciation. Hence, it's easier to communicate with people who are pro at speaking English.
If you are taking ESL lessons, then listening to these podcasts can strengthen your listening and speaking skills.
Even though these podcasts are not free, they offer affordable deals that can help you understand English without being too heavy on the pockets.
English Class 101
Your expertise in the language doesn’t matter while listening to this podcast. It has four different levels for you to choose from.
Native speakers of the English Language produce these podcasts talking at varying speeds so you can catch up to them at your own pace.
EnglishClass101 helps you learn English while focusing on vocabulary and important English phrases. You will come out with more knowledge about English after every podcast!
These podcasts may not be free, but there is a free trial period during which you can gauge if these help you to learn English or not. If you feel satisfied after it, you can sign up for a subscription that could be anywhere between 1-month to 24-months.
Splendid Speaking's podcasts are meant for those who already have a good command of the English Language and just want to brush up on their skills. What truly sets this podcast apart is that it features conversations between native and non-native English speakers, helping listeners identify with any potential issues they face when speaking.
There is a feedback system to highlight the language learning aspect, where the native speaker tells how the non-native speaker performed.
This way of learning English is very interesting because, during the feedback, you can pick up on the mistakes that you might make unknowingly. While listening to conversations, you can pick up on subtle nuances of speaking that may get lost in classroom learning.
If you take ESL lessons, you can discuss these errors with your ESL tutor and work on them.
Better At English
Once again, English native speakers have conversations on everyday life topics on these podcasts. The matter discussed is quite varied with serious as well as easy-going ones. With the help of these conversations by native English speakers, you can expect accurate pronunciations and correct yourself if you think you are going wrong somewhere.
There is an additional option that you can use to look at online ESL classes that encompass various aspects of English, including spelling, grammar, and pronunciation. These will also have tips on learning a language and listening quizzes that can help you master English.
While listening to English, you can also read it with the help of the subtitles given and improve your spellings.
To further your learning process, you can go over a vocabulary list given at the end of every podcast to emphasize what you've learned throughout that podcast.
One of the best things about this podcast is that it is free!
This American Life
One of the most popular podcasts in the US, each episode is downloaded around 1 million times. It presents captivating stories of Americans borrowed from the radio show of the same name. There is a theme to every episode that features different stories of everyday Americans. Some of these include "Amusement Parks" and "Back to School".
As someone wanting to learn English, the interviews with people from different parts of the US introduces you to different accents and speeds at which people speak English.
Here's The Thing
One of the most interesting podcasts you can find is Here's The Thing. It is led by American actor Alec Baldwin who interviews famous people from the politics, arts, and entertainment industries. His humor and charm bring out the best in gets as he gets them talking about their inspiring stories and life choices.
If you are fascinated by famous personalities, these podcasts can help you get intelligent discussions from them encompassing different fields, especially those involving creativity. You can learn English in a fun and inspiring way from some of your favorite people.
Stuff You Should Know
A podcast series that is great for all the curious minds out there! It answers a range of topics and questions that are funny, thought-provoking, and sometimes outlandish. Some of these include, "Do Zombies exist?" "How Black Boxes Work?" etc.
The fascinating topics covered in these podcasts appeal to people who are curious about the world. They get to listen to the English language in action and quickly develop a working vocabulary of commonly-used words.
Comedy Bang Bang: The Podcast
Led by Scott Aukerman, this podcast is hilarious because of the funny songs and performances. There are characters, games, interviews, and celebrities that formulate an hours' worth of pure laughter.
Even though it is fast-paced, this podcast has many characters, so those listening to the series will be introduced to various dialects and accents.
Learning English as a second language doesn't have to be a boring process. There isn't a strict method that you have to follow. You can learn English in whichever you want as long as the source is accurate.
If you are good at listening and learning better through it, podcasts are a great way to do so. You can choose from various sources according to your interests and requirements so they can help you improve quickly in a very entertaining way.
Through podcasts, you can learn English anywhere at your own pace.
Of course, as fun as podcasts can be, taking ESL lessons from experienced teachers who can answer your queries and focus on your problem areas is always the best possible route to learning.
But all in all, podcasts could be a great addition to your English learning process if you are already doing so with ESL teachers.