Hearing a language is one of the hardest parts of the language learning process. And listening to podcasts in English is one of the best ways to do so in any situation. You can even download them and listen to them on a plane…

Listen as many times as you need, or even download the transcripts to make sure you are picking up every single word.

However, we understand that it might be difficult to find the right one. Maybe you’re looking for a specific accent, topic, or level. And there are thousands of options. That’s why we have put together a useful list of our 10 favorite podcasts to learn English, specifying the country, level, topic, etc. Follow along! 

The English We Speak

Provider: BBC

Country: UK

When: Weekly

Duration: 3-4 minutes

Level: Intermediate

Topics: Varied

Notes: Learn must-have sentences with these short episodes. If you’re a busy person with no time looking to improve your conversational English quickly, this is your podcast. 

A million to one The English We Speak

Here's an expression to say something is extremely unlikely
  1. A million to one
  2. Cash in on something
  3. Make your hair stand on end
  4. On the go
  5. A blow

Elementary Podcasts

Provider: British council

Country: UK

When: Weekly

Duration: 10 minutes

Level: Beginner – Intermediate

Topic: from fictional drama and jokes to quizzes and language advice.

Notes: This podcast is perfect for those of you who are starting to listen to English. Get ready for some perfect English accent. 

ESL Pod

Provider: British council

Country: Not specified 

When: Daily

Duration: 15-30 minutes

Level: Intermediate-Advanced 

Topic: this service is not free. But if you are looking for a more intensive and curated content, you might be interested on the site. 

What If World

Provider: Mr. Eric

Country: UK

When: Weekly

Duration: 20 minutes

Level: Beginner – Intermediate

Topic: General knowledge, crazy facts

Notes: Made for children but suitable for everyone! Each week, Mr. Eric takes a “What if?” question from a kid and spins it into a story for all of you. 

This American Life

Provider: Public radio

Country: US

When: weekly

Duration: 1 hour

Level: Advanced

Topic: Each week they choose a theme and put together different kinds of stories on that theme.

Notes: This is one of the most famous and interesting podcasts out there, especially if you are interested in American life and culture. Definitely challenging to understand.

Overheard at National Geographic

Provider: National Geographic

Country: US

When: Weekly

Duration: 30 minutes

Level: Advanced

Topic: Nature, adventure and science

Notes:  follow explorers, photographers, and scientists to the edges of our big, weird, beautiful world.

The Writer’s Voice

Provider: The New Yorker

Country: US

When: Weekly

Duration: 40-50 minutes

Level: Advanced

Topic: Literature and culture

Notes: The New Yorker is definitely one of my favorite magazines, especially since I moved to New York. If you are interested in culture and personal stories around it, this is the best podcast for you. Also, this is the perfect opportunity to put your New York slang into play!

571- You Are What You Watch The latest stories from www.wnyc.org

What we see on screen has this way of influencing our perception of the world, which makes sense because the average American spends 2 hours and 51 minutes watching movies and TV each day. That’s a whopping 19 percent of our waking hours. Walt Hickey is a data journalist and author of a new book called You Are What You Watch. In it, Walt makes a case for how much film and television shapes us as individuals and as a society, far beyond what we give it credit for.You Are What You Watch
  1. 571- You Are What You Watch
  2. Latest Newscast From the WNYC Newsroom
  3. February 20, 2024 – PBS NewsHour full episode
  4. What’s in your wallet?
  5. Hang Up: The NBA’s All-Star Catastrophe

Here’s the Thing

Provider: WNYC Studios

Country: US

When: Weekly

Duration: 30-70 minutes

Level: Advanced

Topic: Creativity, gossip

Notes: Join Alec Baldwin into the lives of artists, policy makers and performers.

Carolyn Marks Blackwood’s Eye for Beauty Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin

Chunks of ice making a path across the surface of a river, streaks of pink and orange clouds blocked out against the sky, trees framing a darkened road as if in a ghost story…in the hands of photographer Carolyn Marks Blackwood, nature becomes an abstract work of art. New York’s Hudson Valley is Blackwood’s backyard and her inspiration, where she captures the micro and macro moments of nature’s constant changes – and the details we so often miss. Blackwood is also a screenwriter and producer, bringing to life films like “Philomena” and “The Duchess.” She speaks with host Alec Baldwin about how photography is an act of “flying by the seat of my pants,” about her time as a jazz singer in New York City, and how she found her way to her many artistic pursuits.     Carolyn Marks Blackwood’s work can be found here. The James Paul Cheung scarves made from Blackwood’s photographs can be found here.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
  1. Carolyn Marks Blackwood’s Eye for Beauty
  2. Happy Cooking with Jacques Pépin
  3. Susan Lucci Wins It All
  4. Here’s the Thing: Trailer
  5. From the Archives: Brilliant Minds of Trash and Sewage

TED Radio Hour

Provider: NPR

Country: US

When: Weekly

Duration: 40-60 minutes

Level: Advanced

Topic: Life and challenges

Notes: TED Radio Hour investigates the biggest questions of our time with the help of the world’s greatest thinkers.

Heartache TED Radio Hour

Original broadcast date: October 1, 2021. When stress, fear or sadness weigh on us, our hearts can suffer — even break. But there are ways to mend our broken hearts. This hour, TED speakers share stories and ideas about soothing heartache. Guests include cardiologist Sandeep Jauhar, law professor Jeannie Suk Gersen, pediatric nurse Hui-wen Sato, and climate activist Knut Ivar Bjørlykhaug.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy
  1. Heartache
  2. Doppelgangers
  3. What Leadership Looks Like
  4. Brain Hacks
  5. Take Care

Stuff You Missed in History Class

Provider: Stitcher

Country: US

When: Biweekly

Duration: 30-40 minutes

Level: Advanced

Topic: History

Notes: Great vocabulary… and amazing content. Suitable for all ages! You could learn incredible facts such as these ones about Brooklyn…

George Washington Williams Stuff You Missed in History Class

George Washington Williams was one of the first people to publicly describe the atrocities being carried out in the Congo Free State under King Leopold II of Belgium. But so much happened in his life before that. Research: Berry, Dorothy. “George Washington Williams’ History of the Negro Race in America (1882–83).” The Public Domain Review. 9/12/2023. https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/history-of-the-negro-race-in-america/ BlackPast, B. (2009, August 20). (1890) George Washington Williams’s Open Letter to King Leopold on the Congo. BlackPast.org. https://www.blackpast.org/global-african-history/primary-documents-global-african-history/george-washington-williams-open-letter-king-leopold-congo-1890/ Book, Todd. “What Tarzan Taught Me about Ohio History.” 10/1/2017. https://www.ohiobar.org/member-tools-benefits/practice-resources/practice-library-search/practice-library/2017-ohio-lawyer/what-tarzan-taught-me-about-ohio-history/ Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. "John Hope Franklin". Encyclopedia Britannica, 1 Jan. 2024, https://www.britannica.com/biography/John-Hope-Franklin. Accessed 31 January 2024. Elnaiem, Mohammed. “George Washington Williams and the Origins of Anti-Imperialism.” JSTOR Daily. 6/10/2021. https://daily.jstor.org/george-washington-williams-and-the-origins-of-anti-imperialism/ Franklin, John Hope. "Williams, George Washington." Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History, edited by Colin A. Palmer, 2nd ed., vol. 5, Macmillan Reference USA, 2006, pp. 2303-2304. Gale In Context: U.S. History, link.gale.com/apps/doc/CX3444701308/GPS?u=mlin_n_melpub&sid=bookmark-GPS&xid=f3d8c89e. Accessed 30 Jan. 2024. Franklin, John Hope. “Afro-American Biography: The Case of George Washington Williams.” Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society , Jun. 18, 1979. https://www.jstor.org/stable/986218 Franklin, John Hope. “George Washington Williams and the Beginnings of Afro-American Historiography.” Critical Inquiry , Summer, 1978, Vol. 4, No. 4 (Summer, 1978). https://www.jstor.org/stable/1342950 Franklin, John Hope. “George Washington Williams, Historian.” The Journal of Negro History , Jan., 1946, Vol. 31, No. 1. Via JSTOR. https://www.jstor.org/stable/2714968 Franklin, John Hope. “George Washington Williams: A Biography.” University of Chicago Press. 1985. "George Washington Williams." Notable Black American Men, Book II, edited by Jessie Carney Smith, Gale, 1998. Gale In Context: U.S. History, link.gale.com/apps/doc/K1622000481/GPS?u=mlin_n_melpub&sid=bookmark-GPS&xid=718fd3c3. Accessed 30 Jan. 2024. Hawkins, Hunt. “Conrad and Congolese Exploitation.” Conradiana , 1981, Vol. 13, No. 2 (1981). https://www.jstor.org/stable/24634105 John Hope Franklin Center at Duke University. “Dr. Franklin & Lea Fridman: George Washington Williams.” Via YouTube. 10/10/2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8WC5l2unNA McConarty, Colin. “George Washington Williams: A Historian Ahead of His Time.” We’re History. February 26, 2016. https://werehistory.org/williams/ O’Reilly, Ted. “In Search of George Washington Williams, Historian.” New York Historical Society Museum and Library.” 2/24/2021. https://www.nyhistory.org/blogs/in-search-of-george-washington-williams-historian O'Connor, A. (2008, January 23). George Washington Williams (1849-1891). BlackPast.org. https://www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/williams-george-washington-1849-1891/ Ohio Statehouse. “George Washington Williams.” https://www.ohiostatehouse.org/museum/george-washington-williams-room/george-washington-williams Simmons, Willam J. and Henry McNeal Turner. “Men of Mark: Eminent, Progressive and Rising.” Geo. M. Rewell & Company, 1887. https://books.google.com/books?id=2QUJ419VR4AC& See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
  1. George Washington Williams
  2. Introducing: I Didn’t Know, Maybe You Didn’t Either! S3
  3. SYMHC Classics: Mary Breckinridge
  4. Behind the Scenes Minis: Natalie Can't Be Contained
  5. Natalie Clifford Barney, Part 2

You can find more podcast ideas on fluentu’s website. And if you are looking for some other ideas to try at home, check these tips to avoid getting crazy at home, or practice your reading with these amazing books set in NYC.

And check our Adult English courses for an in-depth learning experience with the best language school in New York

And if you are tired of listening and cannot wait to start speaking… join our Live in NY Conversation class, fully online!