One of the best ways to learn English is by listening to it. Their vocabulary is so vast that it becomes imperative to learn phrases in a familiar and natural context. Here is a small selection of the 5 best podcasts that can help you improve your English.

How to improve my English through a podcast?

There are two types of learning: passive and active. Passive learning is when we simply listen to an audio in another language to acquire naturalness in the ‘listening’. It is an excellent way to take advantage of the time we spend inside a vehicle, or in a waiting room. When we do this type of exercise, it is convenient to repeat the same audio several times to retain the phrases in our memory. You can also practice with television series: if we liked a series a lot, we can watch it several times to establish vocabulary and pronunciation.

On the other hand, we have active learning: we listen to a podcast or a video and write down the phrases and words that appear to fix them in memory. It is convenient to listen several times to the phrases that we do not understand, write down the words that we know to try to infer the rest from the context.

Both take time. Passive learning has the advantage of being able to combine it with another activity, but for it to really bring us something new we need to listen to the audio repeatedly. Active learning stays longer in our memory, but consumes large amounts of time.

Next, we review 5 podcasts with different levels of difficulty to practice our English:

“Houston, we have a podcast”, the NASA podcast

You can access this podcast by clicking on this link .

From interviews with astronauts and engineers, to episodes that take you navigating the galaxy with your ears and imagination, this podcast is truly top-flight. With a new adventure every week, the only requirement is your curiosity. A journey through the history of the North American space program, its current situation and future projects.

The history of China in a podcast

You can access this podcast by clicking on this link .

China has a thousand-year history, with very different foundations from the Western ones. Since 2010, Laszlo Montgomery has been presenting different episodes that immerse us in the details of the most populous country on the planet.

This podcast is completely geared towards intermediate to advanced learners. It has almost 300 episodes that cover the most varied topics. A highly recommended option, without a doubt.

Modern Love Podcast, from The New York Times

You can access this podcast by clicking on this link .

This offending podcast curated by the New York Times is accompanied by a weekly column written on the themes of love in modern times. The podcast has a transcript for people who find it difficult to follow a native speaking (the speaking speed is not slow, it is normal).

The theme is more than interesting, and it presents us with completely updated vocabulary to talk about increasingly recurrent topics in social gatherings.

The FBI Podcast

You can access this podcast by clicking on this link .

Do you like police news? The FBI publishes this weekly podcast with statistics and new data about its activity. They also give safety tips to take care of you and your loved ones.

The podcast includes access to statistical reports, a transcript to understand all the vocabulary and the possibility of downloading the audio.

How fast do they speak? Completely natural. Difficult to follow without an advanced level.

Premier Skills English, from the British Council

You can access this podcast by clicking on this link .

Everything the British Council does is of an above-average level of quality, without a doubt. You like sports? Do you like the British accent? Then this is the ideal podcast for you.

Fun, educational, fully interactive with listeners, this podcast is a cut above the rest. All chapters contain the transcript. Not only that, but they also have exercises and activities to encourage active language learning.

Conclusions

Podcasts are especially useful for improving our pronunciation , especially vowels , one of the most complex facets of mastering the English language. When we find a program that really interests us, the ideal is to repeat it several times to pay attention to the details, and if possible, try to repeat some phrases out loud. Learning English is a constant exercise, and being able to be understood by people around the world greatly expands the possibility for us to participate in a more global conversation.

For people looking for tools to improve their pronunciation, I offer both an e-book and the PhonicSense course, specifically aimed at overcoming traditional learning difficulties in teaching English. The book and course are the result of extensive research I undertook when I moved to the United States in pursuit of a job opportunity, and this is my way of adding value to others who are going through the same thing.

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