The best podcasts to learn English

The best podcasts to learn English

by Jakob Straub

Updated November 10, 2022

Listening to podcasts will help you improve your English skills and advance your Business English. The apparent benefit of podcasts to learn English is the effect on listening comprehension, but English podcasts for English learners also add to your speaking skills and fluency through improving vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation in real conversations and speaking situations. To get started on learning English and Business English that way, we’ve compiled a list of the best podcasts for you!

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Top English Podcasts for English Learners

Coffee Break English

This podcast is geared towards beginners and will teach you phrases for everyday situations. The idea of Coffee Break English is short lessons which you can literally listen to on your break, commute or walk in the park. With just a couple of minutes of listening, you can already improve your vocabulary and build up your English language skills, all without a daunting time investment. So make use of those short breaks throughout your day!

English Learning for Curious Minds

English Learning for Curious Minds is a podcast by Leonardo English where you can learn “weird and wonderful things about the world at the same time as improving your English”. Subjects range from “The Amazing Life of Elvis Presley” to “The Curious Taste of British Food”. Episodes are around 20 minutes long, spoken clearly, and come with subtitles, transcripts and key vocabulary. 

Podcasts in English

Podcasts in English also don’t require a lot of your time for each lesson, because episodes are commonly between three and five minutes long. The website offers extra material such as transcripts, worksheets and vocabulary tasks. The lessons are prepared for elementary, intermediate and upper level students with a great variety of topics. Podcasts in English also dedicates an entire section of episodes and vocabulary worksheets to Business English.   

Business English Pod

This is one of the best podcasts for learning Business English through audio immersion, listening and comprehension practice and worksheets. The Business English Pod lets you acquire language skills for business situations with a simple, easy-to-follow structure and audio. As an added bonus effect, you’ll learn how English-speaking companies conduct business.

The English We Speak

For many learners of English, the BBC is still the de facto authority on the language. The English We Speak features knowledgeable language experts with a focus on every day phrases and a British accent. The weekly podcasts are just below five minutes each and typically explore a common expression. The slow speaking speed and the clear enunciation make the episodes easy to follow. The format is a conversation between two presenters, so you’ll learn the basics of communication as well.

Voice of America

If you want to acquire a North-American accent, Voice of America is the podcast for you. Beginners, intermediate and advanced learners can improve their English with lessons on the history and culture of America, news and documentaries as well as expressions and idioms. Often enough, the episodes will highlight the difference from British English as well, so you can get an understanding on how the language is spoken on both sides of the pond.

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More fun podcasts to learn English with entertaining content

A podcast doesn’t actually have to focus on the subject of language learning itself in order for you to pick up important skills, improve your listening comprehension and be entertained all at the same time. The following podcasts can teach you about Business English, professional communication and interesting topics!

HBR IdeaCast

If you don’t have time to read the Harvard Business Review, you can listen to the weekly HBR IdeaCast, available on Apple and Google Podcasts, Spotify and the HBR website. The senior editors Alison Beard and Curt Nickisch tackle topics such as leadership, performance, crisis or work-life-balance and interview CEOs and industry leaders. You’ll stay in touch with the business world and pick up the language at the same time.

The $100 MBA

Hosts Omar Zenhom and Nicole Baldinu are on a mission to “revolutionize business education forever”. The idea behind The $100 MBA is that you don’t need to shell out big to acquire the knowledge equivalent of an MBA. This podcast delivers business training with straight and actionable lessons and interviews with experts in the industry.

How I Built This

How I Built This is a National Public Radio business podcast hosted by Guy Raz who interviews founders, CEOs and business leaders every week. A deep-dive into the stories behind companies, this podcast will introduce you to innovators, entrepreneurs and visionaries and what they’ve built. Listen to success stories told in the language of success.

School of Greatness

Lewis Howes is a former pro athlete turned entrepreneur and bestselling author. His podcast School of Greatness is an ongoing search for mentors: Lewis Howes reaches out to successful and accomplished people and interviews them about direction, inspiration and hope. You’ll listen to ideas and stories from business minds and entrepreneurs and learn about balance, mindset and commitment to the best self.

WTF with Marc Maron

Marc Maron is actually a comedian and actor, not a businessman, but hey, laughter is one of the best ways to learn and the celebrities and personalities on his show WTF with Marc Maron are just too good to pass up on. Even Barack Obama came to do a show in Maron’s garage! Ever since then, people have literally been lining up so that you can browse the shows not only by episodes, but also by people. Maron’s conversations with his guests are revelatory and entertaining and will teach you the art of telling a story.

Want to know which other languages are good for business? Find out the best languages to learn for business!

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Jakob is a freelance writer in Barcelona, Spain, and his favorite books have pages all empty. As an expert storyteller, he publishes creative fiction in English and German and helps other authors shape their manuscripts into compelling stories. Thanks to an expertise in a wide range of topics such as writing, literature and productivity to marketing, travel, and technology, he produces engaging content for his clients. Apart from the escape that books offer, Jakob enjoys traveling digital nomad style and stays active with climbing and hiking. Find out more about him on his website, Twitter or on Goodreads.

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