I’ve been learning languages for a long time but I must admit, I am very late into the podcast game. As usual, I have been suffering from trying to use too many language materials at once. Also, I really didn’t have any idea how to use them. Sometimes, I felt that my language level is too low to be even listening to podcasts.
But podcasts aimed specifically at language learners have evolved so much and I now consider them to be an essential tool in my language learning arsenal. I especially like podcasts with transcripts and I happily pay for these. Here are some of the ones I really like and regularly use:
- Swedish podcast for beginners (Lätt svenska med Oskar) – I am thoroughly enjoying this! The episodes are short, never more than 5 minutes each, so I can listen to 3-5 at one go. First, I listen to the episode to try and understand as much as I can. Then I read the transcript to double check if my understanding is correct. I also like writing down sentences and phrases that I think will be useful for me. Then I listen again without the transcript. I usually listen to one episode at least 3x. I am currently working on the first 50 episodes (as of this writing, there are over 120 episode transcripts published) and I could say that the level is mainly A1-A2. I love that Oskar repeats the sentence structures over and over, just changing a few words. Actually, just a random fact: I binge-listened (that’s a word?) to Okcar’s podcast a few days before my italki Swedish lesson. I felt that it helped me so much in my speaking during the lesson, and I was so happy when my teacher told me in the end “Great job today!”. Tack så mycket, Oskar!
- Simple Swedish Podcast – This is longer than Oskar’s podcast so I can only work on one episode at a time. But my method is generally the same. Listen, read, write, repeat.
- Hungarian with Sziszi – I am very happy to have found Sziszi’s podcast! The episodes vary in length from 10 minutes to up to 20 minutes. I love that you can see the CEFR level appropriate for each episode. I can only recommend this podcast 100%!
- The Miku Real Japanese Podcast – Among my languages, Japanese remains to be my highest level because I’ve had the longest exposure to it due to things like J-dorama, music, films and anime, so I do podcasting a little differently. I listen to an episode then try to transcribe what Miku is saying. Then I will check the transcript for mistakes. I am not going all in with this podcast because Japanese is not top priority this year. But it is good practice to help maintain my level, as I have almost zero exposure to the language since moving to Hungary.
Getting comprehensible input in your target language is important in improving your skills, and listening to podcasts is a fun way to learn. But remember, the best method to learn a language is the method that you will stick to and do consistently. Good luck and happy language learning!