10 English Podcasts to Start Listening to Today
Learning English but don’t have the time or patience to sit down and study? Podcasts might be the perfect solution for you.
Podcasts are super handy because you can throw them on whenever, for example, while doing chores, driving to work or walking your dog! They’re also a really beneficial language learning resource as they offer exposure to native English conversation and can help improve your listening skills, boost your vocabulary and enhance pronunciation. Podcasts also offer insight into the culture and current events in the country of the language of interest, helping immerse yourself in your studies.
It isn’t easy, however, to find a podcast that suits your interests and level of fluency. This post will discuss a variety of popular English podcasts and help you find one that suits you best! Additionally, all of the English podcasts discussed have transcripts available, which are super handy as you can import these into LingQ and follow along with the audio while looking up words you’re unfamiliar with.
Beginner English Podcasts
The Learn English Podcast from the British council
The Learn English podcast is a great resource for beginners interested in learning British English. They have lots of episodes, which are discussion-based and cover everyday topics, as well as lots of UK-focused content, such as the football culture, British cuisine and the royal family. The hosts speak at a slower pace and enunciate their words very clearly, so this would be a perfect place to start out on your English-speaking journey.
Voice of America Podcast
The Voice of America Podcast is another great option for English learners who are just starting out, as they speak slowly and clearly using simple vocabulary. They have many different series, such as current events, pop culture, American history and short stories that introduce classic American literature. They also have more language learning-specific topics like English grammar, as well as an “ask the teacher” series where they answer common questions received from English learners. On the website, you can choose what level of difficulty you’d like and work your way up from beginner to advanced with these episodes.
Intermediate English Podcasts
The English LingQ Podcast
The English LingQ Podcast is a great resource for intermediate language learners. The episodes are primarily focused on language learning, as well as various other interesting topics, like conspiracy theories, how to become a pro wrestler and making friends on Omegle! These podcasts are available as lessons on LingQ, so you can study the transcript and audio, helping you learn new words and phrases. This podcast features intermediate conversational English with many interesting guests who come on and share their unique language learning experiences and offer some interesting perspectives and tips.
Business English Podcast
The Business English Pod is the perfect resource if you’re learning business English, as it has a huge library on topics like job interviews, negotiations, telephoning, socializing and more! This podcast will teach you commonly used terms and expressions in business English and help you develop the communication skills needed to sound and feel confident in the workplace. You’ll need to pay for the monthly subscription to access the transcripts, but there is a free trial, so you can try it out and see how you like it before committing!
6 Minute English from The BBC
The 6 minute English podcast is a British podcast for intermediate learners. Their website has a large selection of episodes to choose from, and with a huge variety of topics, you’re sure to find some that interest you. In this podcast, the hosts chat about interesting topics such as discoveries of the deep sea, as well as British topics, such as the platinum jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. What’s unique about this podcast is that each episode is just 6 minutes long, keeping the listener engaged throughout it. On the website, there is a free transcript, as well as a list of vocabulary words with their definitions for each episode.
The Better@English podcast is a podcast featuring conversational English on a wide variety of topics, ranging from serious to humourous. For example, I just listened to an interesting episode on the psychology behind lying. They also have episodes on topics like how technology will take over the majority of jobs in the coming years, as well as episodes specifically about learning English, such as American slang terms and grammar rules. This is a great show for intermediate learners, as the content is fairly easy to understand and the pace isn’t too quick. Better @ English offers great exposure to native conversational English, while also being super interesting and informative.
Learn Languages with Steve Kaufmann
Polyglot and LingQ cofounder Steve Kaufmann’s Learn Languages podcast is perfect for you if you’re an intermediate English learner and you’re interested in the topic of language learning. Steve shares his do’s and don’ts on different aspects of studying a language, such as reading, listening, writing and speaking and describes the most effective strategies to further your language skills. There are also super interesting episodes about motivation, goal-setting and productivity hacks! Sharing all of his language learning tips, there’s nobody more informative on this topic than Steve. You can listen on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Podcasts and more! Steve’s episodes are also available as lessons on LingQ, allowing you to listen, while following along with the transcript.
Advanced English Podcasts
Overheard at National Geographic
National Geographic is an American magazine and television channel, renown for its photojournalism of nature, wildlife and science. With new episodes released weekly, Overheard is a great option for you if you’re interested in topics like underwater pyramids, how whales communicate, exploring Mars and SO much more! This is an advanced-level podcast, as some of the vocabulary is more challenging due to the scientific nature of the show. If you’re up for the challenge, you’ll surely learn lots of interesting things about our planet while improving your English skills!
Criminal is a popular true crime podcast that is sure to suck you in with its interesting stories and unexpected outcomes. True crime podcasts have become very popular in recent years, but not all of them have a free transcript like Criminal, making it worth checking out if you’re studying English. The hosts speak clearly, but at a faster pace and with higher level of vocabulary, making this a perfect podcast for more advanced learners. This is definitely a great option if you’re interested in true crime and mystery. New episodes are released every other Friday!
The Writer’s Voice
The Writer’s Voice is a weekly podcast by The New Yorker, a prestigious American magazine, which publishes a new short story every week. The Writer’s Voice is a reading of the short story by the author and is a great resource for advanced English learners who are more interested in fictional stories. You can listen on the website, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and more. You can access the short stories on the New Yorker website, which you can then import into LingQ and follow along with the audio. You can only read a few articles for free before you’ll have to subscribe to access the stories, but they have a summer sale on now where you can purchase a 12-week subscription for just $6!
Learn English with LingQ
LingQ is the best way to learn English online because it lets you learn from content you enjoy! You can import videos, podcasts, blog posts and much more and turn them into interactive lessons. Check out our guide to importing content into LingQ to discover how you can turn your favourite new English podcast into a lesson. For example, below is a lesson created from one of Steve’s podcast episodes, which was imported into LingQ.
You can also check out the LingQ mobile app and listen to podcasts on the Go! Here’s what the lesson looks like on the LingQ app after importing an episode of the Overheard podcast.
Keep all your favourite content stored in one place, easily look up new words, save vocabulary, and review. LingQ is available for desktop as well as Android and iOS. Gain access to thousands of hours of audio and transcripts and begin your journey to fluency today.