Benefits of Using Podcast to Improve Your English

Note: since I’m going to write on improving your English, this post is appropriately written in English.

Preparing for any scholarship application can’t be started too early. If you’re planning to apply for Erasmus Mundus scholarship, you should know that the application period is usually open from around November until January. Now (July) would be a great time to start improving your English. As you know, a high-score English test result will greatly help your application.

In this Internet Age, there are more ways to improve English than just studying with books and taking courses. Learning with podcast is an example of these new methods. Put simply, podcasts are just audio files (usually in the popular format of MP3) that can be downloaded to be played later. While the idea of listening a recording is not new (think of audio cassettes and CDs), podcasts make publishing, searching and obtaining learning resources much easier. Here are some benefits of using podcast to learn English:

1. Listen to Native Speakers

Picture of Captain America

Language can be learnt by copying. Getting yourself used to listening to native speakers will make it easier to understand the language. Exposing yourself to the way they talk and to their pronunciation will also help your pronunciation, making your English sounds more natural and understandable by native speakers.

2. You Already Have the Tools

MP3 player

You don’t really need anything else to start using podcasts to improve your English. Most students now own an MP3 player or cellphone with multimedia capabilities. If you haven’t got one, save some money and get the cheap ones (you don’t need the fancy iPod). You still need internet access though. Just go online, download the files you want, transfer them to your device and you’re all set.

3. Everywhere, Anytime

Open 24 hours sign

With podcasts, you can decide when and where you learn English. While you’re enjoying that cup of coffee in a cafe, eating lunch, jogging, doing exercise at the gym or while being stuck in traffic jam, day or night, improving your English is just a button click away. What you need is just to make some time (10 minutes up to one hour, whatever works for you) and hit play.

4. Lots of Free Resources

Podcast icon

There are lots of free English podcasts published by native speakers. Don’t limit yourself with only listening to American speakers, vary it with British or perhaps Australian accents. The Internet makes it easy to find podcasts with various English accents. Here is just a small collections of such resources. You can get more by searching for “learning english podcast”. You can also listen to news podcast by searching “english news podcast”.


  • Better At English offers its own learning English podcast, but it also has a list of websites with audio and video resources for learning English.
  • VOA has a section on its website specifically designed for people learning English. Every news published on that section has an audio file of an American speaker telling the news in a slightly slower pace than normal. This is a very good site for a beginner.
  • BBC has got various useful podcasts for learning English (it offers a specific category just for that). You can of course listen to their global news podcast to keep abreast on world’s events while improving your English. Other downloadable files and resources (not just podcast) can also be found on the learning English section of the BBC website.
  • British Council has a great website for learning English and it also has a podcast section. Moreover, every episode on the podcast has a support pack (PDF file) containing exercises for you to finish while and after listening to the audio file. The exercise will help you further improve your English.
  • Podcast can also be in video format rather than just audio. Australia Network has various video podcasts for learning English available at your disposal. The downside of video podcasts is the size of each file may be significantly higher than regular audio podcasts.

Do you have any experience with using podcasts to improve your English? Tell us in the comments.

Photo credits: [1], [2], [3], [4]