Every year podcasts are becoming more and more popular around the world. With over 950,000 active podcasts and almost 30 million episodes, there are podcasts on every topic you can imagine, from sport to history, fashion to politics, travel to film – there are even podcasts about dentists and gnomes!

Podcasts are easy to find and convenient: you can listen to them at any time, in any place. They are the perfect form of entertainment for our busy lives. People listen to podcasts when they are walking, driving, working out and even doing household chores.

Not only are podcasts entertaining, they are also informative and can help us learn and develop. One of the advantages of podcasts is that you have control – you can change the speed and you can pause and replay as many times as you like. Some podcasts also have transcripts available (a written version of the audio) so you can listen and read at the same time.

There are lots of podcasts for language learning and here are five of the best!

Learning English – News Review (BBC World Service)

Every week the BBC World Service select and discuss the latest news stories from around the world. The hosts identify key vocabulary used by the media and give clear explanations and examples. It’s a great podcast for helping you understand and talk about current events. They choose a range of stories from funny to serious and always give you lots to think about.

Click here to listen

Business English Pod

If you’re learning English for work now or in the future, this is the podcast for you! Business English Pod focuses on the real-life conversations people have at work; focusing on meetings, presentations, negotiations, interviews and general office chat. Each episode has natural dialogues based on everyday situations and highlights useful vocabulary and idioms. There are also practice and review activities so you can try using the language yourself.

Click here to listen

Luke’s English Podcast

Luke is an English language teacher, stand-up comedian and an award-winning podcaster. His intention is to make you laugh while you learn with funny and entertaining podcasts. He has hundreds of episodes on a variety of topics including popular films, TV and music and even an episode on bad Christmas jokes! It’s a great podcast for increasing your understanding of British culture as well as learning everyday vocabulary.

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IELTS Made Easier

We all know that IELTS isn’t easy but this podcast can really support you in studying for the exam.  Each week there are episodes to help you in Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing with test tips, practice and vocabulary. Learn how to write complex sentences, use sentences starters and structure your essays with easy to understand guides. This podcast is a must for anyone wanting to study at university!

Click here to listen

The English We Speak – BBC World Service

Another great podcast from BBC World Service and this is probably my favourite! This entertaining series focuses on everyday phrases, informal speech and new words to describe the changing world around us. It will help you learn and understand the real language that people use in their everyday lives. The presenters have friendly, engaging conversations that provide clear examples and explanations of common phrases such as ‘cabin fever’, ‘spill the tea’ and ‘rat race’.

Click here to listen

We hope you enjoy listening to our favourite 5 podcasts and that they help you with your English language learning.

Tell us about your favourite podcasts!

Written by:

James Pearson
Assistant Director of Studies