Hearing a language is one of the hardest parts of the language learning process. And listening to podcasts in English is one of the best ways to do so in any situation. You can even download them and listen to them on a plane…

Listen as many times as you need, or even download the transcripts to make sure you are picking up every single word.

However, we understand that it might be difficult to find the right one. Maybe you’re looking for a specific accent, topic, or level. And there are thousands of options. That’s why we have put together a useful list of our 10 favorite podcasts to learn English, specifying the country, level, topic, etc. Follow along! 

The English We Speak

Provider: BBC

Country: UK

When: Weekly

Duration: 3-4 minutes

Level: Intermediate

Topics: Varied

Notes: Learn must-have sentences with these short episodes. If you’re a busy person with no time looking to improve your conversational English quickly, this is your podcast. 

Tell me about it The English We Speak

Sometimes people say something that you can’t help but agree with. Learn a new phrase.
  1. Tell me about it
  2. Creatively bankrupt
  3. As if
  4. Bad hair day
  5. 'Ish' – The English We Speak

Elementary Podcasts

Provider: British council

Country: UK

When: Weekly

Duration: 10 minutes

Level: Beginner – Intermediate

Topic: from fictional drama and jokes to quizzes and language advice.

Notes: This podcast is perfect for those of you who are starting to listen to English. Get ready for some perfect English accent. 

ESL Pod

Provider: British council

Country: Not specified 

When: Daily

Duration: 15-30 minutes

Level: Intermediate-Advanced 

Topic: this service is not free. But if you are looking for a more intensive and curated content, you might be interested on the site. 

What If World

Provider: Mr. Eric

Country: UK

When: Weekly

Duration: 20 minutes

Level: Beginner – Intermediate

Topic: General knowledge, crazy facts

Notes: Made for children but suitable for everyone! Each week, Mr. Eric takes a “What if?” question from a kid and spins it into a story for all of you. 

This American Life

Provider: Public radio

Country: US

When: weekly

Duration: 1 hour

Level: Advanced

Topic: Each week they choose a theme and put together different kinds of stories on that theme.

Notes: This is one of the most famous and interesting podcasts out there, especially if you are interested in American life and culture. Definitely challenging to understand.

Overheard at National Geographic

Provider: National Geographic

Country: US

When: Weekly

Duration: 30 minutes

Level: Advanced

Topic: Nature, adventure and science

Notes:  follow explorers, photographers, and scientists to the edges of our big, weird, beautiful world.

The Writer’s Voice

Provider: The New Yorker

Country: US

When: Weekly

Duration: 40-50 minutes

Level: Advanced

Topic: Literature and culture

Notes: The New Yorker is definitely one of my favorite magazines, especially since I moved to New York. If you are interested in culture and personal stories around it, this is the best podcast for you. Also, this is the perfect opportunity to put your New York slang into play!

Latest Newscast From the WNYC Newsroom The latest stories from www.wnyc.org

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  1. Latest Newscast From the WNYC Newsroom
  2. 2022/05/26 22:00 GMT
  3. Shock engulfs Uvalde after school massacre

Here’s the Thing

Provider: WNYC Studios

Country: US

When: Weekly

Duration: 30-70 minutes

Level: Advanced

Topic: Creativity, gossip

Notes: Join Alec Baldwin into the lives of artists, policy makers and performers.

Todd Rundgren, His Music and “Psychonautics" Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin

Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Todd Rundgren is in a class all his own. Whether scoring Top 40 hits, playing all of the instruments on his albums or wildly experimenting with musical genres, Rundgren is continuously pushing the boundaries of creativity. That ethos and ingenuity can be found in his numerous solo albums from the 70s to present day, with his band Utopia and as a record producer for musicians like Patti Smith, The Psychedelic Furs and MeatLoaf. The trailblazing Rundgren is also a pioneer in computer technology and multimedia – creating the first color graphics tablet, first interactive album and first interactive concert tour. Todd Rundgren tells Alec how he pulls off making the music he wants to make, how he almost changed careers to become a computer programmer and how psychedelics helped him rethink music completely.  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
  1. Todd Rundgren, His Music and “Psychonautics"
  2. The End of Abortion Rights in America?
  3. Eric Ripert is Chef Par Excellence
  4. On the Ground in Ukraine and Beyond
  5. The Light and Dark Sides of Tim Dillon

TED Radio Hour

Provider: NPR

Country: US

When: Weekly

Duration: 40-60 minutes

Level: Advanced

Topic: Life and challenges

Notes: TED Radio Hour investigates the biggest questions of our time with the help of the world’s greatest thinkers.

Repair, Repurpose, Reimagine TED Radio Hour

"Reduce, reuse, recycle." We've heard that for decades – but does it work? This hour, TED speakers reimagine the well-known slogan and reconsider how we think about what we consume and throw away. Guests include right-to-repair advocate Gay Gordon-Byrne, materials scientist Andrew Dent, technologist Jamie Beard and animal scientist Ermias Kebreab.
  1. Repair, Repurpose, Reimagine
  2. Listen Again: Sound And Silence
  3. Anna Malaika Tubbs: The Three Mothers
  4. What Leadership Looks Like
  5. Listen Again: The Power Of Spaces

Stuff You Missed in History Class

Provider: Stitcher

Country: US

When: Biweekly

Duration: 30-40 minutes

Level: Advanced

Topic: History

Notes: Great vocabulary… and amazing content. Suitable for all ages! You could learn incredible facts such as these ones about Brooklyn…

As a teenager, Mabel Lee fought for the women’s vote in the U.S. even though she wouldn’t benefit from it. As an adult, she continued to live a life in service, as community and spiritual leader in New York’s Chinatown.             Research: National Archives. “Chinese Exclusion Act (1882).” https://www.archives.gov/milestone-documents/chinese-exclusion-act “Erasmus Hall Academy.” National Park Service. https://www.nps.gov/places/erasmus-hall-academy.htm Yang, Jia Lynn. “Overlooked No More: Mabel Ping-Hua Lee, Suffragist With a Distinction.” New York Times. Sept. 19, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/19/obituaries/mabel-ping-hua-lee-overlooked.html?searchResultPosition=1 “New York City’s Chinatown Post Office Named in Honor of Dr. Mabel Lee ’1916.” Barnard College. December 3, 2018. https://barnard.edu/news/new-york-citys-chinatown-post-office-named-honor-dr-mabel-lee-1916 Hond, Paul. “How Columbia Suffragists Fought for the Right of Women to Vote.” Columbia Magazine. Fall 2020. https://magazine.columbia.edu/article/how-columbia-suffragists-fought-right-women-vote “Chinese Girl Wants Vote.” New York Tribune. April 13, 1912. https://www.newspapers.com/image/467709486/?terms=Mabel%20Lee&match=1 “Parade of Women in New York Saturday, May 4, Will Break Record for Number in Line.” The Daily News, Frederick, MD. May 2, 1912. https://www.newspapers.com/image/7632082/?terms=Mabel%20Lee&match=1 “Dr. Mabel Ping-Hua Lee.” National Park Service. https://www.nps.gov/people/mabel-lee.htm Tseng, Timothy. “Saving China, Saving Ourselves: 1911-1965.” ChinaSource Quarterly. Winter 2020. Posted online Dec. 7, 2020. https://www.chinasource.org/resource-library/articles/saving-china-saving-ourselves-1911-1965/ Lee, Mabel. “The Meaning of Woman Suffrage.” The Chinese Student Monthly. May 1914.  526-529. Republished: https://timtsengdotnet.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/mabel-lee-the-meaning-of-woman-suffrage-1914.pdf Cahill, Cathleen D. “Mabel Ping-Hua Lee: How Chinese-American Women Helped Shape the Suffrage Movement.” National Park Service. https://www.nps.gov/articles/000/mabel-ping-hua-lee-how-chinese-american-women-helped-shape-the-suffrage-movement.htm Tseng, Timothy. “Dr. Mabel Lee: The Intersticial Career of a Protestant Chinese American Woman, 1924-1950.” Paper to be presented at the 1996 Organization of American Historians meeting. https://timtsengdotnet.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/mabel-lee-paper-1996.pdf Alexander, Kerri Lee. “Mabel Ping-Hua Lee.” National Women’s History Museum. https://www.womenshistory.org/education-resources/biographies/mabel-ping-hua-lee Michael H. Hunt. “The American Remission of the Boxer Indemnity: A Reappraisal.” The Journal of Asian Studies, vol. 31, no. 3, 1972, pp. 539–59, https://doi.org/10.2307/2052233 “New York and the 19th Amendment.” National Park Service. https://www.nps.gov/articles/new-york-and-the-19th-amendment.htm Sears, Charles Hatch. “A Chinese Leader in New York City.” Missions: American Baptist International Magazine. Volume 16. 1925. https://books.google.com/books?id=D5rNAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA682&lpg=PA682&dq=%E2%80%9CA+Chinese+Leader+in+New+York+City,%E2%80%9D&source=bl&ots=F29TTo2f7y&sig=ACfU3U1pd1puccje3hlTvSi815lN9_M3Gg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiy39acm8v3AhVWkokEHUNtCTAQ6AF6BAgCEAM#v=onepage&q=%E2%80%9CA%20Chinese%20Leader%20in%20New%20York%20City%2C%E2%80%9D&f=false “Suffrage Army Out on Parade.” New York Times May 5, 1912. https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1912/05/05/100533097.pdf?pdf_redirect=true&ip=0 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
  1. Mabel Ping-Hua Lee
  2. Margaret Lucas Cavendish’s Blazing World
  3. SYMHC Classics: John Dillinger
  4. Behind the Scenes Minis: All the Teeth
  5. A Brief History of Dentistry and Oral Health, Part 2

You can find more podcast ideas on fluentu’s website. And if you are looking for some other ideas to try at home, check these tips to avoid getting crazy at home, or practice your reading with these amazing books set in NYC.

And check our Adult English courses for an in-depth learning experience with the best language school in New York

And if you are tired of listening and cannot wait to start speaking… join our Live in NY Conversation class, fully online!