Seven BBC podcasts each English learner ought to strive

I really like listening to the radio!

I grew up listening to radio. As a Brit, that meant primarily the BBC.

Born within the 12 months color TV arrived, I’m not of the digital era. My father was an engineer and spent most of his profession working exterior the UK.

We typically had no TV and the radio was our lifeline to the surface . Every morning and night we’d take heed to the information from the BBC World Service.

When I actually began residing abroad I continued to take heed to the BBC, first on the lengthy wave service after which by way of podcasts. Over the 12 years I lived in China, I slowly explored the BBC’s radio programmes.

Why do I pay attention?

Mainly to remain in contact with my dwelling nation of England. But I additionally tune in to study, to be challenged by the concepts of others, to ‘meet’ consultants, to really feel half of a bigger group.

Where do I pay attention?

Everywhere! Literally. I’ve taken the BBC on lengthy journeys, up mountains, into my bed room and kitchen and onto my eating room desk!

radio for English learners

For folks studying English, listening to BBC radio podcasts can be a superb method to enhance your English listening expertise and vocabulary in addition to getting publicity to the British English accent.

Here are my seven favorite reveals and why I believe they’ve one thing to show you in English.

BBC Radio 4

1. Desert Island Discs

This present began in 1942. It’s so well-known they even made a present in regards to the present! The visitor, or castaway, is invited to decide on eight items of music, a e-book and a luxurious to take with them to a desert island. The interview is constructed round their music decisions and key moments within the their life.1


Great for listening to tales instructed previously tense.

Don’t be postpone by the very-hard-to-understand introductions that presenter Kirsty Young reads out. I believe she should be a thesaurus addict! Just skip the intro and begin on the first document selection.

Favourite episodes:

David Beckham

Bruce Springsteen

Sandi Toksvig


2. The Bottom Line

This is a enterprise present, the place visitors – a combination of corporates and entrepreneurs – are invited to debate a selected matter. The host, Evan Davis, is a superb interviewer and he invitations some inspiring visitors on his reveals.


Wonderful place to study what you are promoting and entrepreneurial vocabulary.

Favourite episodes:

How to Negotiate

3. Woman’s Hour

As its identify suggests, it is a day by day present coping with ladies’s points within the UK. I’ve been an enormous fan for round 20 years and often take heed to the day prior to this’s episode with my breakfast. They lately launched a Late Night Woman’s hour the place “visitors partake of a couple of nocturnal frank and humorous ”.


Polish up your listening expertise with a breadth of British accents you in all probability by no means knew existed whereas familiarising your self with the vocab of all issues feminine!

Favourite episodes:

I don’t actually have a favorite episode, however right here’s a Late Night Woman’s Hour present I actually loved:

A Brief History of Me Time 


4. Books and Authors

This present alternates between Books and Authors the place they often interview an creator and talk about books and publishing points, and A Good Read, the place two visitors and the presenter select a e-book every to learn and talk about.


An ideal place to seek out e-book suggestions. I’m an enormous fan of suggestions from authors. My feeling is that it’s a double high quality filter!

Favourite episodes:

Trevor McDonald and Jon Snow

Allan Ahlberg

5. Bookclub

This present is run like a e-book membership as you’ll be able to go online and discover out the e-book choice after which learn it your self earlier than the present. Authors from everywhere in the world are invited on the present to be interviewed by James Naughtie and questioned by the viewers.

James Naughtie not solely has probably the most soothing Scottish accent, his interviewing expertise had been honed over 21 years because the host of the day by day BBC radio information programme the Today present.


If you’d wish to ‘meet’ new modern authors from all over the world, this present will introduce you to some of at this time’s high authors and English spoken with varied accents.

Favourite episodes:


Yann Martel – creator of The Life of Pi

Roddy Doyle – creator of many books together with Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha

Audrey Niffenegger – creator of The Time Traveller’s


BBC World Service

6. The Documentary (typically listed as Documentaries on apps)

“Stories from all over the world” could possibly be one other identify for this collection of documentaries. The BBC’s journalists from all corners of the planet delve into native points and information gadgets to provide a extra in-depth to listeners.


The format is a mix of interviews and the journalist studying a report so get a very good combine of spoken and English. A very good documentary ought to depart you wiser and questioning.

Favourite episode:

I believe Documentaries are a really private selection – go browse, there are such a lot of to selected from.


7. Forum – Sixty Second Idea to Improve the World

Short podcasts – solely 5 minutes – the place somebody is given sixty seconds to share an concept to enhance the world. Their brainwave is then mentioned by the visitors on the present.


As these podcasts are so brief, you’ll be able to take heed to them two or thrice. Listen as soon as with out stopping, then pay attention a second time and attempt to perceive troublesome elements and search for vocab, then have a last continuous pay attention to listen to the entire present.

Favourite episodes:

Turn off the lights

Language for native audio system

With my very own international language studying, I discover I hardly ever take pleasure in content material ready for instructing functions. I a lot want to pay attention or learn content material aimed on the native inhabitants. Yes, stuff goes over my head; sure I’ve to search for rather a lot of phrases and expressions; however as I discover the content material partaking I don’t get bored and which means I pay attention or learn to the tip!

How to take heed to BBC radio reveals or podcasts?

There are some ways to take heed to BBC podcasts, you will discover BBC Radio Four right here and the BBC World Service right here.

There are some ways to take heed to podcasts – I’ve listed how I pay attention under.

On my Android, I exploit an app referred to as Podcast Addict (free on Google Play or there’s a paid model with out advertisements). You can subscribe to podcasts after which download or stream the podcast of your selection.

Now go plug your self into some nice high quality English…

Photo credit score: BBC & susivinh

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