Podcasts for students
A podcast is an audio file, usually MP3, which may be obtained from the internet. Teflpedia's article on podcasts talks about ways in which teachers may use them in class. This article is more interested in podcasts for students students who wish to improve their listening skills, though it may refer to some of the same sites as the other article.
Sometimes existing programmes may try to play a podcast you are trying to download. If this is a problem, right-click your mouse, left-click on "save link as" and then select a download destination. The file should go where you want it.
Sites aimed at native speakers
There are a vast number of sites which produce content for native speakers - really radio programmes on the web. For those who consider that listening to authentic language is the best way to practice the language they are learning, then using materials designed for native speakers is the best thing to do.
Although such material will inevitably be more difficult to understand than material produced expressly for students it will represent the language level which students are more likely to encounter if they deal with native speakers in real life. Unless students have a very low level or are expressly looking for material which is formatted as a "lesson" they are encouraged to persevere with native speaker materials.
News, current affairs and entertainment Podcasts
- The BBC podcast site has a very large selection of podcasts covering a wide range of themes.
- The Guardian newspaper site has a large selection of podcasts.
- The Reuters video and audio podcasts.
- The The Times of London podcasts
- The The New York Times podcasts
- The Voice of America Podcasts
- The Al jazera podcast site
Sites for students
For various reasons some students will prefer to listen to graded material which is explicitly produced for students with a more limited range of grammar vocabulary and speed. There are a large number of resources on the web of which the following are are only a small selection. Our links at the bottom of these page will take you to other resources with more potential links.
- The English we speak
- Learn English From the BBC Russian service.
- Ask about English For Mandarin speakers.
- The flatmates A short soap opera with associated material for either students or teachers.
Also see our main article"BBC" for more information.
- The Voice of America simple English podcasts.
- The Breaking News English podcast Although designed for teacher use, the Breaking News English podcasts can also be used independently by students.
- The Culips ESl podcast American/Canadian language podcast which an emphasis on "natural language".
- The English Desk podcast. Podcast with text.
- The ESL Learning Pod Podcasts with General English, Business English and other categories.
- The Business English pod. Weekly podcast on business topics, but you have to pay for the notes transcripts etc. (Intermediate to advanced)
- The ESL Business News podcast Free podcast with script. Read in very clear, slowish, American English. (Intermediate to advanced)
- The Listen to English podcast
- The British Council podcast site Podcasts produced by the British Council and their suggested third party links.
- The Business English Ace Radio. Weekly podcast dedicated to helping learners around the world to improve their Business English skills.(Intermediate to advanced)
- Authentic language
- Graded teaching material
- Plain English
- Podcast Article directed at teachers.
Our list of links on this page is by no means exhaustive. The following sites have links to a larger number of podcasts for English students.