Looking for the best ESL teaching podcasts? Maybe you teach English online. Or you're looking for a way to improve your teaching skills. Or you want to get inspiration from fellow teachers.
Teaching English as a second language is a rewarding experience. But if you teach online especially, you can feel isolated as you can’t just wander into the staff room and see your colleagues.
But, no matter where you are in the world, you can listen to ESL teaching podcasts for ideas, support and inspiration.
Thanks to ESL teaching podcasts, you can get tips on everything from creating your own teaching business to supporting students with special educational needs. You can also listen to lighter content that will let you have a break between lessons.
I know you’re a busy teacher so to make life a bit easier for you, I’ve put together this list of the 12 best ESL teaching podcasts. Whether you're looking to improve your teaching skills or just hear other teachers' perspectives, there's something for every teacher in this list.
If you want to become a qualified online language teacher and earn a living from home, I recommend checking out CeOLT (Certificate of Online Language Teaching).
Check out the infographic below for a taster of the ESL podcasts you'll learn about in this post and then keep scrolling to discover them all.
#1 Online Bound
Online Bound is no ordinary language teaching podcast. Elena Mutonono is a business coach for independent online teachers.
And she loves to take inspiration from other fields such as illustration or poetry. You’ll enjoy this podcast if you’re trying to build your own independent teaching business.
While she interviews some big names in English language teaching such as Fluency MC, she also chats to a sleep coach, bloggers and more. Listen to this episode where life coach Marlene McNally coaches her live on her money mindset.
#2 Teacher Talking Time
In Teacher Talking Time you’ll hear Mike, Leo and Andrew discuss all things English language teaching and learning.
They invite some big names from the ELT universe such as Luke Meddings or Scott Thornbury onto the show.
Each month, they release an episode for learners and one for teachers. The trio also train teachers and help them spend less time on lesson planning with the dogme approach.
#3 Everything EFL – With Erin O’Byrne
Everything EFL started out as a duo with Erin O’Byrne and Shane Callaghan. But Erin has been flying solo since episode 30. That said, she’s often joined by guests such as the ELT in Chile podcast team (see below).
The podcast lives up to its name. You’ll find episodes on everything from advice for new teachers, to using drama in the classroom, and even Rupaul’s Drag Race. Yes really.
If you want a good laugh, listen to the episode on New English File’s (an English coursebook) Rob and Jenny and their romance.
#4 ELT In Chile Podcast
As you can imagine, the ELT in Chile podcast is about well, ELT in Chile, but not only!
You’ll find tips on online teaching including how to assess students and teaching listening skills online. There are also episodes on topics like teacher self-care. And guests to mix things up a little.
Each episode comes with detailed show notes where you’ll find a tip to try out in your classes, links and more. For example, in the earliest episodes you’ll also find a Teaching Demerit and Teaching Gold Star – a positive and a negative anecdote about teaching.
#5 The TEFL Commute Podcast
So if you’re teaching online you won’t have much of a commute. But you could take the TEFL Commute Podcast out with you on a walk to get a break from the screen.
Like the ELT in Chile podcast, this podcast is presented by multiple experienced teachers. Its aim is to be a light-hearted show that cheers teachers up on their commute. They’ve recently celebrated their 100th episode.
During the 2020 lockdown, they did a special spin-off series on using Zoom which could be useful if you want to teach online.
#6 ESL Talk
ESL Talk is brought to you by two ESL teachers, Daniel and Fey. Daniel teaches academic writing and Fey is from Iran and has her own online teaching business.
The duo also invite guests onto the show to discuss specific topics.
You’ll find episodes on topics such as teaching students with learning disabilities or mental health and wellbeing for teachers.
As both teachers have their own businesses, look out for episodes on becoming a teacherpreneur and building your own ESL business.
#7 TEFL Tutor Abroad
If you want to know what it’s like to teach English abroad, in this case in Thailand, check out the TEFL Tutor Abroad.
In these honest and raw podcast episodes, you’ll hear British teacher Andy talk about what it’s really like to teach overseas. He originally started the podcast to get through lockdown.
And now he’s continuing to share his thoughts as he completes a Master’s degree in Education online.
#8 The ESL Teaching Podcast With Ieva Grauslys
The ESL Teaching Podcast is a rather new ESL podcast for teachers by a passionate English teacher. For now there are a dozen or so episodes but it seems to have started strong.
This podcast is particularly relevant for you if you’re teaching young learners, K-12. And preparing them to develop the English skills they need to integrate the mainstream classroom.
Ieva is originally from Lithuania but now lives and works in the USA and has 14 years of teaching experience. In the podcast, she covers topics such as teaching SLIFE students, that is, students who have limited or interrupted formal education.
#9 The TEFL Institute Podcast
The TEFL Institute Podcast is a bite-sized, no fluff podcast for busy teachers where you get a mix of theory and practice for all levels of teaching experience.
You’ll love this podcast if you prefer hosts who get straight to the point without too much chit chat. They also invite a range of guests onto the show such as writers, academics and teachers. David, Simon and Matt also come on as regular guests.
Ross Thornburn, the host, has been a teacher, manager, teacher trainer and materials writer since 2016. Many of the podcasts even come with transcripts if you’d prefer to read rather than listen.
#10 The TEFL And TESOL Podcast
The TEFL and TESOL Podcast is the podcast of International TEFL and TESOL training. This is the podcast for you if you want to teach English abroad or get a TEFL certification.
You’ll find out more about how the industry works including how to get hired as a teacher, what teaching is like in different countries and how to choose the right TEFL course for you.
#11 TESOL Pop
The TESOL Pop podcast episodes are short, just fifteen minutes long, and are brought to you by Eve Conway and Laura Wilkes, two teacher trainers.
They kept getting the same questions from their trainees so they decided to answer them on this podcast which they started back in 2018.
Now they also bring on guests too such as teachers, trainers, managers, journalists and material writers.
#12 The TEFLology Podcast
The TEFLology Podcast started way back in the early days of podcasting, in 2014.
These three teachers, based in Japan, designed the podcast to brighten up their fellow teachers’ commutes with a lighthearted look at the industry.
This trio of podcasters have even written a book about how to become a podcaster and how podcasting can contribute to your professional development.
Best ESL Teaching Podcasts: Something For Everyone
So there you have it, the 12 best podcasts for ESL teachers.
In this list, you’ve got something for everyone: podcasts for having a laugh, bite-sized podcasts on specific teaching topics or teacher questions plus podcasts that go behind the scenes of the TEFL industry.
Even if you're short on time, you can develop your teaching skills, get your questions answered and find ideas for your lessons thanks to episodes that last just 15 minutes!
The only thing left to do is to dust off your headphones, download a podcasting app and start listening.