Hi there! I’m your English coach Christina, welcome to Speak English with Christina, where you’ll learn about American culture and business know-how to become confident in English.
Listening comprehension is one of the four critical skills to learn English. In this episode, I’ve decided to share a few of my favorite podcasts with you so you can practice your listening skills.
I encourage you to listen to these podcasts – or other podcasts in English that discuss subjects that interest you – so you have more opportunities to listen and understand the pacing of how native speakers talk. Also, as you listen you will gain experience in how to follow a story spoken in English.
It’s like how when you were little, and your parents or grandparents read you a story so you could learn your native language. You can get the same effect with podcasts, only no one is telling you to go to bed afterwards!
This list includes my favorite podcasts – the ones that have made a big influence on me personally and professionally.
The podcasts in this list are not necessarily learn-to-speak English podcasts. They are podcasts spoken by native English speakers and designed for English-speaking audiences on a variety of subjects, and a great tool for you to learn how fluent speakers naturally talk to one another.
If you’re interested in gaining fluency faster and being able to have natural conversations in English – maybe even to start your own English-speaking podcast – then join my Faster Fluency Conversation Club.
The club meets three times per week. The group is always small, so you’ll have plenty of opportunity to practice your speaking skills. Each session is guided by one of my fantastic English-native coaches who will guide you on vocabulary, correct your mistakes, and much more so can you gain fluency faster.
Mental Strength Conversations
The podcast Mental Strength Conversations is hosted by Rachel Lilly. She won 3 Olympic gold medals in field hockey. Each week, Rachel interviews a female athlete and explores how their mental strength takes them from average performance to their best performance.
Many of the athletes she talks to have regular full-time jobs. In each episode, Rachel’s guest shares tips on how to stay motivated to train. Rachel is also a high-performance coach and is interested in how an athlete’s mindset can improve their skills and habits.
I decided to share this podcast because sometimes when learning a language, there are mental struggles we must overcome. Learning a new language is a lot like various athletic pursuits. How do you stay motivated when you don’t want to study? How do change your mindset, or your pattern of thinking, to get the behavior you want?
These are the main themes in the conversations Rachel has with her guests. After listening to the conversations, I always come away feeling inspired and motivated to do my best.
Like most of the podcasts on this list, this is an interview-style podcast. You get to hear two people having a conversation and have a better idea of how native speakers talk to one another.
You may notice that Rachel and I don’t sound the same. Rachel is a kiwi!
Rachel has a New Zealand English accent and I have an American English accent. Listening to this podcast will be good practice for you to hear English spoken in a different accent you may be used to. Of course, Rachel and I both speak English – but we sound a little bit different.
The Tim Ferriss Show
You may recognize Tim Ferriss from his “Four-Hour” book series where he focuses on what he calls the “optimal-minimal” strategy where you get the best results by putting in the least effort possible.
Each week Tim Ferris interviews someone who is at the top of their field. He asks questions, such as their habits to stay motivated and what tips they have to achieve success. The topics of discussion change each week – and are always fascinating. The topics range from health to business to investing to relationships and science.
Ferriss has written the “Four-Hour Workweek”, the “Four-Hour Body”, “The Four Hour Chef”, and many other books.
He hasn’t written a “Four-Hour Language Course” book yet. That’s okay, because Ferriss has a particularly excellent podcast episode I highly recommend to my students called “The Art & Science of Learning Anything Faster” – check out this episode and maybe it will help you make faster progress in your language studies.
Great Women of Business
This podcast is about some of the most captivating women in business. Each episode is about an hour long and features prominent women who have overcome challenges to go on and lead extraordinary lives and make a big impact in the business world.
Unlike the first two podcasts in this list, the format of this podcast is more like a story or a biography.
The podcast’s two hosts describe the life events of the subject, such as Julia Child, Martha Stewart, and Estee Lauder. Best of all, the podcast highlights tips on their achievements that you can use in your own business or life.
As a female entrepreneur, I find these stories and tips inspiring!
Before I introduce the podcast Back Story, here’s my short backstory –
I was a history major at university. I studied American history and civilization, and I loved learning about why Americans do things the way they do.
Are you interested in American history and culture too? If so, check out Back Story.
This podcast explores how American history has shaped modern-day American culture and in particular the history behind modern news stories. Each episode is a fabulous journey into the American mind through history and current events.
Back Story is hosted by several American historians who do a terrific job of weaving interviews and history into a fascinating storyline.
Listening to podcasts is a great way to strengthen your English comprehension skills. You can improve another critical skill to learning English – writing.
If you liked a podcast, write a summary of what you’ve heard. Feel free to post your written summaries in the comments to share with others.
Are there any podcasts in English that motivate you to stretch yourself further, either in your language studies or in life?
Share those as well down below in comments.
If you’re inspired to have conversations in English and elevate your English language skills, check out my Faster Fluency Club for live live speaking practice with other motivated members of the Speak English with Christina community, coached by our Fluency Club leaders Cara and Trisha.
You can get all the details and join the Fluency Club by clicking on the link below. You’ll also get extra resources and a conversation guidebook, to help you increase your vocabulary and become more confident in conversations. Thank you for learning with Speak English with Christina, and I’ll see you next time!
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