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Language Learning with Podcasts

Since their rise in popularity in 2004, podcasts have become one of the biggest information-sharing platforms in the world. Allowing people from across the world to share their thoughts, insights, and knowledge with others. Podcasts have opened people up to content that before would’ve required hours of reading and researching. But podcasts aren’t just limited to true-crime stories, interviews with celebrities, and news. There is also a large selection of content out there that provides language learning with podcasts.

Podcasts provide people with the ability to learn while doing other activities. With the increase of people working from home or commuting to work, there has been a surge in popularity. Listening to podcasts has become a go-to for millions of people on a day-to-day basis. So why not spend your listening time learning another language?

Do Podcasts Help with Language Learning?

Language learning with podcasts is a relatively unique concept. As mentioned before, podcasts really took off less than 20 years ago. Podcasts initially were more interview or talk-radio based. But soon language learning with podcasts started becoming more and more common. Nowadays, there are thousands of different creators producing weekly content to help others learn a language.

Man listening to podcast on headphones

But the question remains, do they actually help? The short answer is, yes. As with any language-learning-based activity, it all helps improve your skills. While you may not come away from a podcast with all the skills and tools to speak a language fluently, there are certain areas that will be improved from your listening time. Just as with utilising subtitles on a foreign language film. Podcasts assist primarily with your listening skills. Hearing others speak in a foreign language with correct pronunciation will help tune your ear to the language you are learning.

Different Types of Language Podcasts

There are two types of podcasts you can utilise to learn a new language. The first is a language-learning podcast. These podcasts are created to help people learn a new language. Think of them as a pre-recorded lesson. These can be great to provide you with tips and vocabulary. Yet, there are a few downsides to them for those looking to exclusively use them to learn a new language.

One of the downsides of using these podcasts only is the lack of correction available from your ‘tutor’. As podcasts are not live and are one-way communication, any practice you do will not be corrected. While this makes language learning with podcasts not ideal as an exclusive method, it can be paired with live language lessons.

woman listening to podcast on headhones

Another downside is that it will mainly be focused on listening and pronunciation. Due to the format of podcasts, there is no opportunity to practice reading or writing. This limits your learning to only two areas of language learning. Again, while this may seem limiting, if combined with other learning methods, it can help speed up your learning journey.

Non-Tutor Based Podcasts

There are other types of podcast that can be utilised to improve your language skills. Mainly those which have been recorded in the language you are learning. There are hundreds of foreign language podcasts that have been recorded with learners in mind. These are not set up in a ‘teaching’ style, but rather offer news, articles, and similar in a simplified form of the language. These provide the listener the opportunity to practice their listening skills outside of a ‘teaching environment’.

Overall, language learning with podcasts is a great addition to your arsenal. If you use podcasts as an opportunity to improve your listening skills, rather than relying on it solely, then you are in good stead to speed up your learning journey. We strongly recommend combining tools! Such as podcasts with a live language course to maximise your learning opportunities.

Available Podcasts to Learn With

This selection of podcasts is not just tailored to one specific language but is more focused on the concept of learning a new language. The main theme of these podcasts is finding tips and tricks to help you learn a new language quickly and efficiently. If you are starting on your language-learning journey find some clever ideas through these episodes.

The Fluent ShowListen Here

Actual FluencyListen Here

Story Learning PodcastListen Here

Magnetic Memory PodcastListen Here

Spanish Language Podcasts

For those looking to learn Spanish, these podcasts are an ideal supplement to a course. Learning Spanish with a podcast is a great idea. It can really help add to skills developed during a Spanish course. These podcasts offer a wide range of topics and styles. You can choose from conversational episodes to current news affairs being read in Spanish. Perfect for practising your listening skills.

News in Slow SpanishListen Here

EspañolistosListen Here

Notes in SpanishListen Here

Coffee Break SpanishListen Here

French Language Podcasts

French is one of the most popular languages to learn in the UK. It is also taught at the majority of schools through to GCSE level. These French learning podcasts cover a wide range of styles and topics. These are ideal for those already attending a French course.

One Thing a Day In FrenchListen Here

Coffee Break FrenchListen Here

Daily French PodListen Here

LanguaTalk Slow FrenchListen Here

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German Language Podcasts

These German podcasts cover topics from stories and conversations to current affairs and discussions. German language podcasts are all tailored to those learning German as an additional language. Suitable for all levels.

Coffee Break GermanListen Here

Easy GermanListen Here

Warum Nicht?Listen Here

German StoriesListen Here

Japanese Language Podcasts

Japanese is always high on people’s lists of languages they’d love to learn. These podcasts make learning Japanese just that little bit easier. Practicing your listening skills outside of a course environment can really help boost your progress. It can also help you get closer to being fluent that little bit quicker.

TofuguListen Here

Easy NHKListen Here

Learning Japanese PodListen Here

Bilingual NewsListen Here

Language Learning with Podcasts

Utilising podcasts to aid your language learning journey is a great idea. They can help improve your listening and pronunciation skills. Despite that they cannot be relied on to provide you with a complete learning experience. The added benefit of podcasts is that they can be listened to at almost any time of the day. Whether commuting, at the gym, or while working. Language Learning with Podcasts are an easy way to keep your brain active and help tune your hearing to your new language. Yet, the best way to utilise them is to combine them with a live language course.

Cactus offers courses in over 20 different languages available in a range of levels to suit your ability level. Our beginner courses are designed for those completely new to the language you choose, so you don’t have to have any language skills before you start. Not only can you study in one of our language centres, but you can also study at home! With weekly lessons, you can soon build up your skills to be able to converse in one of these countries..

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