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  • Writer's pictureNur Deniz Mutlu

Boost Your Listening Skills! 15 English Podcasts You Need to Know (For All Levels)

Did you know that podcasts trace back to 2004? Adam Curry and Dave Winer are credited with the invention of podcasting. The term “podcasting” was first mentioned by Ben Hammersley in the Guardian newspaper article. Since the beginning of the 2000s, podcasting has changed a lot. There is even an international day to celebrate podcasting: International Podcast Day, September 30. Nowadays, podcasts have been used for delivering content in education, entertainment, politics, news, marketing, health, religion and spirituality, and special interests.

Podcasts are great options for learners, especially if you dislike reading books or are an auditory learner. Many foreign language learners prefer them since they can be informative and entertaining. Also, it is a great way to improve your listening skills no matter where you are.

If you want to get the most out of the podcasts while learning a language, you should use podcasts that focus on learning and pay attention to what you’re listening to. Still, you can sometimes put podcasts on in the background. Doing so can help you become familiar with the natural sounds of the language. Do not hesitate to slow the audio or look for the transcript if you do not understand. And as for the new words, you can keep a notebook. It may be time-consuming, but if you pay attention to these things while listening to podcasts, they may come in handy more than you think.

This is a picture of a blonde-haired woman walking outside. She's wearing rose-tinted, round glasses and headphones.
Listening practice can further your learning

If you want to become an expert in English, we can help you! Here at ReDefiners World Languages, we offer Arabic, Spanish, English, and Mandarin classes for students from all levels. You can click here for more information. The following list contains 15 podcasts for English learners. You can choose yours by your level and begin listening at once: Beginner 1. Learn English Podcasts This podcast is a free product from the British Council for both beginners and intermediate learners. There are four series of podcasts and sixty episodes in total. Also, there are other listening activities under the category of audio series. This series covers a wide range of topics and styles. You can find the opportunity to improve your listening comprehension and develop your vocabulary. Each audio has a transcript and interactive exercises to help you understand and use the language. 2. Essential English - Beginners If you are afraid to listen to English audio because you feel like you do not understand anything, The Essential English podcast series has you covered. It offers simple, easy-to-understand oral exercises. Also, since it is specifically designed for pre-A1, A1, and A2 learners, it has comprehensible language. This podcast focuses on learning. The speaker does not talk about a particular topic. Instead, they dwell on English expressions and essential grammar rules. In the provided link above, there are eleven episodes in total, and the total time of each episode ranges from 6-9 minutes. If you want to listen to more episodes from Essential English, you can find the rest of the podcast with this link. 3. English Short Stories for Beginners For a more entertaining approach to listening comprehension, you can look at the English Short Stories for Beginners. There are twelve short stories in this series. They last up to four minutes at most. The speakers have a clear voice and are easily understood. For learners who want to learn British accents rather than American, these short stories may be the best choice to start with. 4. English Class 101 English Class 101 has thousands of free podcast episodes for all levels. There are five sections you can choose from: Absolute Beginner, Beginner, Intermediate, Upper Intermediate, and Advanced. Each lesson is fun and supported with assignments, additional materials, and more. The site itself is free; however, there are several options available to upgrade and receive premium content. You can enjoy learning English by registering with a 7-Day Premium Trial option. You can always change your subscription plan later. 5. Easy Stories in English Easy Stories in English offers a variety of audio short stories. You can easily choose which one you want to listen to according to your level. There are four categories for learners: Beginner Stories, Pre-Intermediate Stories, Intermediate Stories, and Advanced Stories. Easy Stories in English shows and explains the words in the short stories so that you can take a look at them and be familiar with them beforehand. You can also see the transcript and download the audio for further listening. Isn’t it great?

This is a picture of two women podcasting. They're both sitting at a table, in front of computers and microphones.
Listening to podcasts helps you to understand spoken English.

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Intermediate 1. Voice of America Though Voice of America: Learning English has lessons for beginner, intermediate, and advanced students, it is best designed for those at the B1 or B2 levels. With the intermediate level section, you can read and listen under the categories of “health & lifestyle,” “science & technology,” “arts & culture,” “as it is” (taking a daily look at current events in the US and around the world), “English in a minute,” “English at the movies,” “everyday grammar TV,” and “learning English TV.” You can also find very similar ones within the beginner and advanced level sections. All the things you need when developing your English listening skills are addressed in Voice of America. Audio, transcripts, quizzes, highlighted words, pronunciation tips, speaking practices, and more are waiting for all English learners! 2. Podcasts in English On the Podcasts in English website, you have the opportunity to not only listen level by level but also develop your business English skills through the Business English podcasts option. After listening to the episode, you can benefit from free worksheets and pronunciation practices. Under levels 1, 2, and 3, you will see short podcasts on specific topics and additional tools such as transcripts, worksheets, and vocabulary tasks. While anyone can listen to the English lessons for free, Podcasts in English charges a monthly subscription to access additional English resources. 3. The English We Speak We already know how important it is to memorize new words and to try using them in everyday life. Nevertheless, we can sometimes have a hard time keeping up with native people’s daily conversations. This is because people generally tend to learn foreign languages in a more formal and traditional way. Nowadays, this is not enough. We need to catch up on the latest English words and phrases. The English We Speak is a free product from the BBC. With episodes shorter than 3 minutes, you can be familiar with the newest words and slang. Almost all of the words and phrases in the English We Speak are used daily by many people. The audio describing the meanings of such phrases and words like “hits different,” “now you’re talking,” “cringe,” “obvs,” “YOLO,” “lit,” and more are on the website with a transcript. 4. Better @ English Better @ English focuses on real English conversations and makes learning the daily use of English much easier. The levels included on the website involve Beginner, Lower Intermediate, Intermediate, Upper Intermediate, and Advanced. Better @ English supplies listeners with practical exposure to English by featuring a conversation about everyday topics. If you are having difficulty understanding the audio, you can always find a transcript. To subscribe, visit the website. You can also subscribe via email. 5. Listening Time – English Practice Listening Time – English Practice is a podcast which can be found on Spotify. There are many episodes in which the speaker talks about different topics. He speaks naturally, but he speaks a little more slowly and clearly than other native speakers. Each episode provides the link to the transcript so that listeners can skim through the text. “Garage sales, American football,” “movie theaters,” “the gym, charity,” and “desserts” are some of the titles You can take a look at the link and begin listening by your area of interest at once. Advanced 1. 6 Minute English 6 Minute English is a product of the BBC. This series is convenient for both intermediate and advanced learners. If you want to improve your listening skills and enjoy learning new information about almost every topic, 6 Minute English can help you with that. The link inserted above will direct you to the podcast website. If you want to watch the video and see the transcript, follow this link. You can download the audio from both links. The latter one provides you with the PDF of the transcript. Each episode gives listeners a few words about the mentioned topic and explains their meanings. Transcripts include the words used in that episode, so you can always review them later! 2. The Feel Good English Podcast The Feel Good English is like the other podcasts indicated above in terms of effectuality, but there is a slight difference between The Feel Good English and the others. The Feel Good English Podcast series is about self-improvement. The speaker does not talk about a particular topic or give you grammar and pronunciation tips, but they talk about how you can turn yourself into a better person. There are many episodes on the website. These are some of the titles from The Feel Good English Podcast series which may help you to have an opinion about it: “Shhh – I’m meditating 10% happier,” “How to actually live a better life – A guide to the good life,” “Biggest lessons of the year part 1 & part 2,” and so on. If you are interested, follow the link and begin listening! 3. RealLife English Podcast If you do not like listening to scripted podcasts and want to get a taste of unscripted English conversations, the RealLife English Podcast may be a great choice for you. This podcast features over 250 episodes that vary by topic, from accent differences to special days. Each episode has a written introduction, audio, and words that you’ll be learning in that episode. For further listening, you can always download the audio. There are different platforms by which you can listen to the RealLife English podcast, such as Spotify, Google Podcasts, and iTunes. However, you can choose to download their application also. 4. All Ears English Podcast All Ears English is a great choice for learners who work on their fluency, prepare for the IELTS test, and learn English for their professional life. The episodes are not separated by fluency levels. Instead, there are three subcategories: English fluency, IELTS, and Business English.

All Ears English is all about learning English. The speaker discusses various topics, such as idioms, phrasal verbs, complex pronunciations, and tips for progressing.

This podcast offers transcripts, but you must subscribe and pay for them. Additionally, each episode provides insightful information about the topic of the episode. Do not forget to check them out, too!

Adept English Podcast focuses on helping listeners to speak English fluently. It adopts an approach for this, which is learn through listening!

Adept English Podcast publishes two new English episodes with full transcripts weekly. There are over 450 episodes on the website. If you want to listen on other platforms, here are many options you can choose from. Under each episode, you can find the written introduction part, the most unusual words, the most common word phrases, related listening audio, and a transcript. Adept English Podcast also allows you to download both the audio and the transcript from the website.

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With your headphones, you can take your favorite podcast series everywhere!

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Besides podcasts, you can benefit from music while learning English as well. You can explore the following playlists on YouTube, and each of these is made for English learners.

If you want an entertaining and informative way to learn English, like podcasts and music, we can help you with our enjoyable classes! Here at ReDefiners, we offer Arabic, Spanish, English, and Mandarin classes for students from all levels. You can click here for more information. You can also email us at

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