Before I moved to Lancaster I had never listened to talk radio. I moved in with my boyfriend in 2006, and slowly BBC Radio 4 became a part of my life. Talk radio stations bring shows and conversations that talk about the most important topics in our lives. A show to listen to while you wash up, a radio drama on your drive to work, a debate over coffee.
Of course, talk radio has moved with the times. Now you don’t have to tune in at a specific time and day anymore. The new listening trend to help you keep up to date is called podcasts. You can subscribe and listen to your favourite shows whenever you want them.
If you to learn more about how podcasts work for language learning, refer to this Fluent guide. Podcast production has opened up the floor to a new generation of people with something to say. The market for language learning podcasts is huge now, and you can mix independent shows with sophisticated leading media productions.
Get Language Learning Inspiration
It’s easy to find podcasts that help you learn a new language by demonstrating words and sentences, but did you know that there’s a new generation of shows waiting for you? These shows are not about teaching you an individual language, but instead they boost your learning skill. From productivity to learning methods, from careers to interviews with polyglots, these shows focus on making you a better language learner.
In today’s post, I’ll be listing five awesome shows that you should not miss out on. Subscribe to them in iTunes or download just one episode to try a new perspective.
Yes, it's Fluent's own podcast and I am so proud to share it with you. For over a year, I have been creating the Creative Language Learning Podcast. This podcast brings you fun discussions with interesting guests that I selected for their inspiring stories, fun approaches and unique messages. I like to talk to teachers and learners alike, and to find out what motivates them. At the end of every show, there’s also a cool little segment called Tips of the Week, where my guest selects the best one out of three fresh learning tips.
Since June 2015 the show has found a very special co-host in Lindsay Dow from Lindsay Does Languages.
If you want to try one episode out of my archive of 15, I’d recommend episode 5 which is one of my favourite interviews I've ever done:
The Business of Language podcast is run by Tammy Bjelland, one of the most impressive ladies I have seen in this community. Tammy was en route to becoming a language professor when she realised that her heart was not quite in it. She went and changed her whole life by opening her own language school in Virginia. In her interviews with language business owners and professionals, Tammy wants to show so much more about the many opportunities that are open to language graduates.
If you have ever wondered what job you’re actually going to do with your languages, this podcast will inspire you. To just try out one episode, I’d recommend her very first episode where she shares her own story.
Olly Richards from IWTYAL has been a guest on my own podcast previously and now you will get to hear from him every week! In Olly's podcast, listeners can leave a voicemail with their own dilemma or question. He then researches, brings in guests and answers each question in a 10 minute bitesize show.
All episodes are quick and Olly is fun to listen to, but here's my own tip:
- Episode 30: Should you learn a German dialect?
Guy from Denmark vows to learn 10 languages and podcasts about it - that's the premise of Actual Fluency with Chris Broholm. Chris stands out in his interview show for the incredible curiosity he brings to every conversation. I like listening to him and even working with him - check out our joint event Language Book Club.
Don't miss out the great episode 47, a solo hosted podcast from Chris where he talks about when it's all a bit more difficult than you think.
Finally, there's Language Mastery, a podcast all about the routines and methods. John Fotheringham, the host of Language Mastery, has travelled the world and learnt languages in places like Taiwan, Bangladesh and ...er...Seattle. If you're into a classic "Here's how I do it" story, I recommend you listen to John's interview with Luca Lampariello in which he details what works for him and how to become a successful polyglot. His website is also full of detailed product reviews.
Bonus: The World in Words
PRI's own language podcast is a wonderful addition to this list. It's produced in great detail and covers stories of languages all around the world. The one episode you have got to listen to is this amazing one about Utah's new bilingual education drive.
I hope you've found an inspiring new podcast or two in today's list. Please comment and tell me if you tried a new episode as a result of this article. Which one did you try? What did you think of it?