You have probably heard of it as a great way to stream music, but did you know that using Soundcloud can be very helpful if you are learning a new language? This free service is tremendously helpful when it comes to streaming, but also sharing, audio tracks. Since language learning is about listening and speaking, it absolutely makes sense to be using Soundcloud as part of your learning process.
Without further ado, here are five ways to use Soundcloud when learning a new language!
1. Find local music and artists
This is surely the most obvious way to use Soundcloud since it is also its initial purpose. You can, of course, use Soundcloud to listen to music. Unlike other music streaming services such as Spotify, Soundcloud is mostly used by independent and up and coming artists. This makes it the perfect platform to find out about the next big thing before record labels do, and to listen to music that is off the beaten track. Try to find singer-songwriters that sing in your target language as they often provide songs with long texts. These artists often also produce pretty stripped down songs as far as musical arrangement is concerned, which will make it easier for you to understand what they are singing about.
- English: Acoustic Songwriters
- German: German Songwriters
- French: En Français
- Spanish: Música Española playlist
2. Listen to podcasts
We have already mentioned it on this very blog, but podcasts are a wonderful way to improve your listening skills and to get a better understanding of current affairs and culture in your target language’s country. Many radio channels have Soundcloud accounts where they publish some of their shows, and there are also a lot of independent podcast makers who use this platform to promote and showcase their work. Just using the search function on the site will get you a long way so do not hesitate to play around with it – you’ll probably end up finding a lot of extremely useful and entertaining recordings!
3. Listen to language learning resources
Of course you can find music and podcasts on Soundcloud, but it turns out that there are several accounts which are dedicated exclusively to language learning. For example, this account offers a ton of short lessons called Coffee Break that are dedicated to helping you learn new words and phrases in your target language. Some kind souls are also recording and publishing language lessons on Soundcloud. This is especially interesting for beginners as many of these recordings cover the basics of French, German, Spanish and English. Look for bite-sized lessons if you are particularly busy so you can quickly be making progress, even if you are only able to dedicate a few minutes a day to your language learning process.
- English: World Service The English We Speak (BBC)
- German: Learn German
- French: Apprendre le francais
- Spanish: Spanish in a minute
4. Improve your pronunciation
You can also upload your own recordings to Soundcloud. Therefore, why don’t you set up your own channel where you can upload recordings of yourself speaking your target language. This way, you will be able to receive feedback from other language learners and improve your pronunciation. Soundcloud operates on a freemium model. This means that using the platform is free, but you can get a Pro subscription to receive additional services. Musicians who need to upload a lot of music are encouraged to subscribe, but as a free user you can upload up to 180 minutes of recording onto your account. It should be more than enough to get started.
- English: Speaking English
- German: Me Speaking German
- French: Speaking French
- Spanish: Me Speaking Spanish
5. Connect with other language learners
Soundcloud has a group function that allows people with similar interests or music tastes to connect. This provides the perfect opportunity for you to find and connect with other language learners who will be able to provide you with feedback and tips to enhance your learning progress. Here is a language learning group you can join.
You can also adopt a more hands-on approach and comment on other people’s recordings to give feedback while simultaneously asking for their opinion on your own attempts. Since Soundcloud also lets you message other users, it is extremely easy to make new, albeit virtual, learning pals.