There are lots of awesome, highly creative people out there making free audio to help you learn English with podcasts.
There's a mix of British English, American English, and more…so you can choose the English accent you want to learn.
I'm sure you've already found lots of radio stations, and other “official' English podcasts, but I wanted to show you the “Indie” podcasts…
The ones made by real people with a passion for English. Or other interesting topics.
Below, you'll find my 15 favourites!
Jump straight to the podcast that interests you most with the table of contents below. Or keep scrolling to learn English with podcasts thanks to these 15 shows.
Table of Contents
1. Luke's English Podcast
Luke Thompson, the creator of Luke's English Podcast, has been podcasting since 2009, and has hundreds of podcast episodes for you to listen to!
Not only is Luke a highly-qualified teacher, but he's also a comedian!
This makes his podcasts full of humour and personality – very important to keep you entertained, and to understand the nuances of conversation in English.
The episodes are often based around interesting stories.
In a triumph of podcasting genius, Luke invited me for an interview on his show, and you can listen to it here:
If you like in-depth, interesting, and entertaining material … you'll love Luke's English Podcast!
2. All Ears English
Lindsay and Michelle have one quality above all… ENERGY!
Not only are they great teachers, but they're also insanely motivating.
Because they understand the importance of connection.
They know that conversation in English shouldn't be boring, and that's why they have the motto: “Connection NOT Perfection!”
The All Ears English podcast has quite short episodes, making them perfect for short doses of daily listening practice.
I love their focus on communication. For example, look at the kind of topics they talk about:
What could be more helpful for learning to speak natural English?
Like Luke, they also have great taste, and invited me as a guest on their podcast! You can listen to that episode here:
If you like fast-paced, energetic, and practical material, All Ears English is for you!
3.Stolaroid Stories With Fabio Cerpelloni
Stolaroid Stories is a cool podcast hosted by Fabio Cerpelloni, an English teacher, author, and writer from Italy.
Fabio says his show helps curious minds – both native and non-native speakers of English – to explore ideas and perspectives about writing in English, education, and self-development.
You’ll hear him rambling about how to use English idioms in your writing, what skilled writers do, and what books are must-reads if you want to become a better writer.
You’ll also hear interesting interviews with educators, writers, polyglots, authors, and even other learners of English like you.
Fabio's from Italy but he lived in London, Australia, and New Zealand so he speaks with a mix of accents. But don’t worry, he’s clear and easy to understand even if you’re an intermediate learner.
I’m interested in real stories, self-development, writing, teaching, and learning, so I often listen to his show. If you’re into these topics, I think you should listen to Stolaroid Stories too.
4. Smart English Coach With Clare Whitmell
Smart English Coach is a podcast with Clare Whitmell, an English teacher and coach who helps learners to speak English fluently and confidently.
Clare has more than 20 years of experience in teaching students from different parts of the world.
On her show, she talks about the strategies, mindset and shortcuts to help you develop speaking fluency and confidence.
I love Clare’s adorable, clear, British accent and think it’ll be easy for you to understand. Her episodes are usually under 10 minutes but you’ll find some longer ones where she has conversations with her guests.
5. My Fluent Podcast With Daniel Goodson
This might be nothing like you’ve ever listened to before.
My Fluent Podcast is not a show hosted by an English teacher and it’s not a show hosted by a language coach or a polyglot either.
The man behind the microphone is a learner of English – just like you!
His name is Daniel Goodson. Daniel is an advanced English-speaking Swiss guy who embarked on a journey into the world of podcasting in 2016 with the ambition to improve his spoken fluency.
On his show, he has conversations with other language learners, teachers, friends, and polyglots. He's had all kinds of guests, including popular ones like Luke from Luke's English Podcast, the first recommendation on this list.
6. The Vocab Man
Who is the The Vocab Man ? Well, he’s the same person who hosts My Fluent Podcast: Daniel Goodson, again!
Yes, My Fluent Podcast is not the only show Daniel has. He’s also the host of The Vocab Man, a show where he teaches his listeners the new English words and expressions that he learns.
I hope you’ll get inspired by Daniel’s creativity and courage, too.
7. The Relatable Voice Podcast With Lucia Matuonto
Daniel Goodson isn’t the only non-native English speaker who has a podcast. Lucia Matuonto, a podcaster from Brazil, has one too.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Lucia started The Relatable Voice Podcast to connect with people from around the world and share stories.
Since then, Lucia has recorded hundreds of interviews with book authors, life coaches, public speakers, survivors, healers, writers, storytellers, and many other interesting people.
This is the perfect show for you if you’d like to hear extraordinary stories told by people from all walks of life.
8. The Ink Well Podcast With Paulius Juodis
The Ink Well Podcast is a show for you if you love cultures and languages. The podcast is hosted by Paulius Juodis, a teacher of English and Lithuanian.
On his show, Paulius has interesting conversations with his guests. These are normally language teachers, authors, writers and educators.
They cover a variety of topics such as linguistics, anthropology, religion, history, creative arts, education, philosophy and much more.
9. American Slang With Anne Haggerson
American Slang is a podcast hosted by Anne Haggerson, an English teacher who has helped thousands of students become more fluent and confident when they speak English.
On her show, Anne explores the connection between language, culture and slang. But what’s slang?
In the description of her podcast, Anne says this:
Slang is a type of informal language that is typically spoken in certain areas or by a group of people. Slang is humorous and creative, and it certainly makes speaking English more entertaining. Culture is dynamic. Language is dynamic. The intense interaction between language and culture makes new words emerge in diverse places.Anne Haggerson
So, American Slang is a great show for you if you’d like to learn more about how words shape culture and vice versa.
10. Aussie English With Pete Smissen
Are you an advanced speaker of English interested in Australian culture? Maybe you’re planning to work, travel, study, or live in Australia?
Listening to the Aussie English podcast is a must then.
The show is hosted by Pete Smissen, a friendly Australian podcaster who will help you understand how English is spoken in the land of kangaroos.
I like how Pete conducts his show.
He helps his listeners learn Australian slang, vocabulary, and expressions but he also explores Australian history so you can learn more about the culture of this amazing country.
The show has been going on since 2015, so there are plenty of episodes to listen to.
11. Arnold's Pump Club With Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold's Pump Club is a daily podcast by the one and only, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Every day Arnold gives you three tips to help you stay healthy and live a better life.
I love his show because most of what Arnold talks about is based on recent research findings so listening to the Pump Club is also a great way to keep up with what’s going on in the world of science.
Arnold suggests workouts and healthy recipes for you to try out and gives his listeners lots of motivation to keep working on becoming the best version of themselves.
Wouldn’t you want to get some workout tips from one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time?
Arnold is originally from Austria so he has a unique Teutonic accent that might be easier for you to understand than other native English accents.
12. Rock n’ Roll English With Martin Johnston
Rock n’ Roll English is the only learning English podcast with an error in the title (it should be Rock ’n’ Roll, with two apostrophes, not one).
The host is Martin Johnston, one of the funniest English teachers out there. His episodes are hilarious.
You’ll hear Martin talking with his friends about the most unconventional topics like drinking, embarrassing accidents, and funny real life stories that will crack you up.
You’ll also hear Martin teaching you grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation and listening skills.
This is an unfiltered show that will brighten up your day while helping you improve your English at the same time.
13. English Through Football
If you’re a football fan, please hold on to your seat. What I’m about to tell you might make you fall off the chair or wherever you’re sitting right now.
English Through Football is a podcast for all those who love football and also want to improve their English.
You’ll improve your English whlie listening to conversations about the most popular sport in the world.
The podcast hosts are big football fans like you. And they’re professional English teachers from the UK, too. What else a learner of English interested in football would want more than this, I don’t know.
14. Hidden Brain With Shankar Vedantam
Human behaviour and the subconscious mind – this is what Hidden Brain explores.
I’ve listened to this podcast many times and it has never failed to fascinate me.
The conversations and stories are about the impact of technology on our lives, the psychology behind happiness, the effects of social media, and many other subjects related to how humans think and behave.
The show is hosted by Shankar Vedantam, a prominent voice in the world of podcasting. He’s an American journalist who can simplify complex scientific concepts so that even non-experts can understand them.
This is a great show if you’ve got advanced English listening skills and are interested in understanding more about yourself and the world around you.
15. Derek Sivers’ Podcast
You may not be familiar with Derek Sivers so let me introduce him to you.
Derek has been a musician, circus performer, entrepreneur, and speaker but he’s now known as a writer that many call a modern philosopher.
His podcast is packed with his personal stories, insights into human behaviour, and practical wisdom to live a truly meaningful life.
The cool thing about Derek’s podcast is that everything is scripted so it’s just him reading out his blog posts.
This is pretty good for English learners, as it means you can read and follow the script at the same time (if you listen to Derek's show on his website) without missing a single word.
The episodes are really short. That could be another good thing for you if you’re not into listening to long interviews or even conversations.
How To Learn English With Podcasts: Some Tips
But how can you learn English? Here are some suggestions for you:
- Use podcast transcripts to check words you don’t know.
- You can use podcast transcripts to read while listening.
- Just listen and enjoy the podcast. Don't bother about the transcripts and unknown words.
- Listen to a short excerpt from the podcast (1 minute) and write down what you hear. Compare your transcription with the original one.
- Listen to what the speaker says in the podcast and repeat. Try to imitate the speaker's pronunciation as much as possible.
- Listen with your eyes closed, deeply focusing on what you’re hearing.
- Listen while doing other things (cooking, driving, cleaning, etc.) without worrying about catching everything.
- Read the transcript first, then listen.
- Listen first, then read the transcript.
- Don’t listen (no, this is just a joke)
- Only listen to podcasts that you can understand.
- Listen to podcasts you can understand and some more challenging ones (but never listen to podcasts where you can't understand what you hear).
- Start your own podcast show like Daniel Goodson and Lucia Matuonto did.
- Very important tip: listen to things you’re interested in!
Learn English With Podcasts: Focus On Fun
Alright, this is my list of the best shows to learn English with podcasts. There are hundreds of other podcasts, so feel free to explore more.
Again, as I said, the most important thing is to listen to something that will truly interest you and that you can understand.
If a show is way beyond your level at the moment, well, go shamelessly find something easier that you can enjoy.
There’s no point in listening to something you can't understand! Have fun learning English with podcasts!