Many people who are interested in learning English find it difficult to practise their listening comprehension skills in real life situations: different accents and ways of speaking, assorted subjects, etc. We all know that the ideal solution would be to spend some time studying or working in any English-speaking country, a move which many cannot afford due to multiple reasons.
The goal of this post is to tell about the wide range of podcasts readily available online, most of them MP3 files. For instance, you can choose from a wide array of programmes and topics on the BBC, Radio Australia and many other radio stations throughout the world. Your choices may depend on your level of English and the personal interests you have.
Next I will give you some recommendations based on the degree of difficulty, type of subject, accents and so on. They will all help you to either learn the basics or hone your English skills, if you already have an advanced level. Anyhow, my piece of advice is to be persistent and listen to them on a daily basis, at any time of the day:
LEARNING ENGLISH: this BBC site offers compelling learning materials for all levels, from audios to grammar plus many other interesting contents.
BBC NEWS: here you can listen to both domestic and international news, sports, weather forecasts and so forth. These broadcasts are usually easier to understand due to the standard English spoken by most hosts. Therefore, I recommend them to begin with.
FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT: documentary series about current affairs around the world. They give us the opportunity to dive into a wide array of interesting issues, which are presented by outstanding journalists in an entertaining fashion. Give it a go!
BOOKCLUB: a perfect way to delve into literature: readers and writers talking about books.
THE BOOKSHELF: another programme about books, this time from ABC Radio Australia. Literature with Aussie accent.
SCIENCE IN ACTION: science news to discover what is happening in the fields of science and technology.
THE KITCHEN CABINET: keen on food and drinks? Then this may be your choice.
SCOTLAND OUTDOORS: learn and walk about the natural wonders of Scotland while listening to distinctive Scottish accent.
AMERICAN ACCENT: among the countless US broadcasting houses you might check out the CNN.
Enjoy all of them!
Headphones photo by Erik Rahona