Language Learning Podcasts: 3 Podcasts to Help You Learn a Language
“Benny, is it possible to learn a language with podcasts?”
Anytime I’m asked this question, I jump on the answer: yes! Podcasts are a great way to throw yourself into the language and get used to its rhythm of speech.
In general, I always recommend Innovative Language podcasts. There are 30+ languages available in the Innovative Podcasts series, and I’ve linked to them all below.
However, there are other options that you can use, too!
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Our Recommended Language Learning Podcasts
FrenchPod101, SpanishPod101, JapanesePod101… Chances are you’ve heard them mentioned quite often if you’ve been on the Fluent in 3 Months blog more than once.
There’s a good reason: I genuinely believe the Innovative Language Podcasts are the best podcast series for language learners out there! In fact, Holly from our team reviewed one of their podcasts, and here is what she says about it:
Innovative Language is the most comprehensive language programme I’ve ever come across for improving all of my skills in my target language. I plan to use it from now on as a core tool in my Thai studies, and other languages.
I’ll go more in-depth about the Innovative Language Podcasts below!
This is one of my best pieces of advice when it comes to learning with podcasts. Instead of looking for podcasts made for learners, look for podcasts made for native speakers!
Select a topic you are interested in, and look up how to say “[topic] podcast” in your target language. Then search it up either on Google or the podcast platform of your choice (Spotify, Apple Podcasts, etc.). You’ll have a great selection to choose from.
I recommend this more for intermediate and advanced speakers. If you are a beginner, podcasts for children can be a great place to start on top of learner podcasts.
I launched the Language Hacking Podcast in 2020 with the help of the Fluent in 3 Months team, and it has become a treasure trove for language learners from around the world.
Along with my co-hosts Shannon and Elizabeth – who are also coaches in the Fluent in 3 Months Bootcamp – I interview polyglots and language learners with different backgrounds from all over the world.
We discuss their experiences, language learning techniques, successful steps they’ve taken, helpful anecdotes, and obviously, language hacking.
If you want to get a taster, listen to one of our most popular episodes, an interview with polyglot Scott Young:
Other guests we’ve had include Scott Young, Barbara Oakley, Olly Richards, John Fotheringham, and Richard Simcott – all very successful polyglots who have developed their own language learning methods.
I also share my own advice in special “Ask Benny” episodes based on questions I receive from my followers and aspiring language learners. Feel free to send a question yourself! Find me on Instagram (@irishpolyglot), TikTok (@irishpolyglot), and Twitter (@irishpolyglot), and ask away.
Can I Learn a New Language by Listening to Podcasts?
Podcasts are one of the first places I turn to when I’m starting in a new language.
Why? Because I’ve found that speaking from day one is the best way to learn a language. Podcasts give you the opportunity to listen to your new language being spoken. As you listen, you’ll learn correct pronunciation.
That’s why, when I was creating my Language Hacking courses with Teach Yourself, I insisted that the courses included audio.
On top of that, the best podcasts are structured to guide you on a journey of learning your new language. As you follow each lesson, you’ll build upon what you previously learned.
I would never recommend that anyone learns a language only by listening to podcasts. Podcasts are a vital tool in the language hacker’s toolbox, but they should never be the only tool you use.
What are the Advantages of Language Learning with Podcasts?
Podcasts are great because you can learn on the go. You can download language lessons from iTunes or your favourite podcast provider, then listen on your Android smartphone, iPhone, Windows phone, or tablet.
With podcasts, you can learn while you’re doing other things. You can learn a language while commuting to work, walking the dog, cleaning the house or making dinner.
I also like podcasts because, unlike with buying a full course, you can choose which lessons work for you. Whether you need to learn about ordering food in a restaurant, talking about your work, or sharing stories about your travels, you can find a podcast lesson that will teach you what you need to know.
There are plenty of free language learning podcasts out there, and lots of paid options, too.
Paid doesn’t always equal better. But if you invest in the right resources, you will learn much faster.
The best paid language podcasts offer a free or low-cost trial, so you can try them out for yourself and see whether they’re a good fit for you.
Many paid podcasts come with downloadable lesson guides and worksheets, so you can follow along as you listen.
Whether I’m just starting out in a language or refreshing my skills in a language I already know, I use Innovative Language podcasts.
Innovative Language podcasts are produced to a very high standard and are structured to help you learn as much as possible, as quickly as possible. What’s more, their lessons are separated into levels that follow the CEFR scale pretty closely. This format has been a great help when I want to move up a level on the CEFR scale. I recommend pushing yourself and listening to the level higher than where you are now.
Whatever level you’re at, there are plenty of lessons to keep you busy – from absolute beginner to advanced speaker.
I recommend signing up and trying out their free podcasts. If it’s a good fit for you, sign up for the paid package.
Innovative Language Podcasts
Click on any language below to find out more about the Innovative Language podcast for that language.
Most popular languages:
Learning Languages With Podcasts
The biggest reason why I have successfully become fluent in nine languages on top of English is my dedication to speaking from day one. I throw myself into the language and consume as much content as possible to force my brain to adapt to it and absorb it.
Podcasts are one of my favourite tools for full immersion. I have also included them in my actualised list of tips to learn a new language in 2023.
If you make the most out of them, I don’t doubt that you’ll make very quick progress!
Good luck, and happy language learning.