Learning a new language is easier today than it’s ever been before! Thanks to the advent of technology, there are now a multitude of podcasts out there that offer language learning for any level, for almost every language. To learn your target language in record time, definitely tune into one of the podcasts below:
This podcast is centered on the most basic need for language: survival. Geared towards tourists and travelers, Survival Phrases offers basic phrases and words needed to navigate travel in a foreign country. It provides how-tos for 26 languages; people with little-to-no linguistic experience can find useful, communicative phrases in an easy-to-understand format. This podcast is also unique in that it offers cultural insight, as well as basic linguistic tools. If you’re preparing for a quick trip abroad, this podcast is a must.
Moving up a level from Survival Phrases, the 101 Series of language instruction podcasts provides more resources for those interested in actually pursuing mastery of a new language. This podcast covers a wide range of languages, from Arabic to Vietnamese. It focuses on a more academic approach; learners gain a deeper understanding of the language through looking at the specific parts of it, as opposed to simply hearing it and having it translated. Followers of the 101 Series come to understand their target language at a deeper level, and begin to recognize the appropriate contexts for usage.
LingQ looks at language-learning in a more organic, less academic way. It promises to link learners “to a world of authentic content and an online community of learners and native speaker tutors.” Based on The Linguist Method, LingQ targets learners at all levels — though users do suggest it better suits those whose language skills fall in the intermediate to advanced range. This podcast also offers an active online community where users can participate in different forums and blogs.
A favorite among foreign-language junkies, Creative Language Learning broadcasts a wide range of informative and interesting topics geared toward enhancing language learning. Host Kerstin Hammes, a German language tutor, interviews dynamic guests and posts three practical tips for learning a language at the end of each session. In a recent episode, she talked to blogger and musician Shannon Kennedy, discussing the correlation between music and language learning.
Kris Broholm’s podcast, Actual Fluency, spotlights “some of the top minds in language learning along with other interesting guests that have high value to inspire and motivate” language learners everywhere. Broholm’s easy, conversational style allows listeners to feel like they’re sitting in on casual conversation. His bent is goal-oriented — he focuses on setting goals for your language-learning and staying motivated in order to continue progressing.
For folks who have a basic understanding of Spanish, French, or Italian or for those interested in expanding their linguistic repertoire, the News in Slow (produced by Linguistica360) offers episodes focused on current events. This format provides listeners with an appropriately-timed delivery. And because its focal point is current news, listeners can grasp a basic understanding of the content even if they are not completely fluent. This podcast is great for growing one’s vocabulary and staying abreast of contemporary topics.