Podcasts are closely related to language learning. However, 5 years ago I didn’t know what is a podcast and how do they work. I noticed that lots of people are searching for answers to that question on the Internet so I decided to write you this article.
I have used podcasts for learning French, Spanish, Chinese and more. In my opinion, they are a great resource for learning any new language. But first, you need to know what they are.
What Is a Podcast?
According to Wikipedia podcast is simply an episodic series of digital audio files. The podcast has usually one subject and all episodes are closely related to that theme. A subject of a podcast can be for example:
- Learning French or other languages
- Spanish culture
- Making money online
- Reading books
- Or literally anything between the Earth and sky
The podcast is a relatively new invention because the first official podcasts started in the beginning of 2000s. Podcasts are similar to radio programs but a podcast is an audio file and you can listen to them with your own device. In the other words, it’s a bit more flexible for a listener than a radio program.
How Do Podcasts Work?
Simply, a podcaster creates an audio file and then his audience listens to it. Don’t worry, I will give you also a more “sophisticated” explanation.
A person has an idea, “I want to teach how to learn French. I want that they will have while learning and my audience will be able to speak French fluently afterward.” That’s how the podcast Francais Authentique started and became successful.
In that podcast, the founder called Johan Tekfak teaches you French by speaking it. He believes that the best way to learn another language is to listen to a native speaker. Then in his podcasts, he talks about several subjects like personal development, French culture and phrases, traveling, everyday life and so on. The key is that even though he speaks about traveling or personal development, he speaks always in French.
Then you can download his podcasts into your smartphone, laptop, PC or to another device. You search, for example, in an Android Store “Francais Authantique” and you will find it.
If you have any questions about using podcasts, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below.
Podcasts and Language Learning
Podcasts have several benefits for learning new languages. I will mention a few of them and maybe you come up with other ideas as well.
Benefit 1: Your Listening Comprehension Improves
When you are listening to podcasts in your target language, you will catch new words, phrases and revise the words that you have already learned before. When you are listening to native speakers you will learn the authentic way of using that language.
The more you listen to a new language, the easier it will be to understand it. How do babies and children learn a new language? They listen to native speakers and then they repeat the words that they have heard. The same way also adults can learn a foreign language.
Benefit 2: Your Vocabulary Expands
Many language podcasts explain you new words and phrases in their lessons. Let’s say that a Spanish language podcast has a lesson about love. Then they will explain how you can use a different kind of Spanish words to express your love. “Te amo/quiero”, “El amor”, “Mi novia es guapa.” etc.
Even though the lesson wouldn’t go through new vocabulary, you will catch new words “automatically”. You can understand new words because of the context. In my opinion, that is one of the most effective ways to learn a new language.
Benefit 3: Your Speaking and Pronunciation Skills Improve
The old principle of learning languages is, “If you want to learn to speak a new language, listen. If you want to learn to write a new language, read.” It’s definitely true to some extent. Probably the fastest way to learn a new language is to speak from day 1 but listening still helps a lot.
Another great way to improve your pronunciation skills and speak like a native is a system called Mimic Method.
Benefit 4: Podcasts Are Flexible
You can listen to podcasts while jogging, cooking, commuting or even in the airplane. I used to listen to a French podcast when I was going to work or coming from work when I was working in the refugee center in Finland. That’s why I always say that you can learn a new language even without using a minute of your time.
Benefit 5: Most Podcasts Are Free
I noticed that many people were searching on Google, “Are Podcasts Free?”
Most podcasts what I have listened have been free. I know that there are also some paid ones available so it depends on the podcast. There are also some podcasts that are free to some extent and by paying something, you will have an opportunity to listen to premium material.
These were 5 benefits of using podcasts? Do you think there are also other benefits?
What Is the best Podcast to Learn Spanish/German/French/Chinese/Or Other Language?
I know that people are searching for podcasts to learn new languages because they are so effective and easy-to-use.
That’s why I am going to write posts where I will collect the best language podcasts for you. I have already collected the best podcasts for learning French and I will also do the same with other languages. Stay tuned!
If you have any questions regarding podcasts I will be more than happy to help you out.
Have you ever listed to podcasts? What kind of podcasts did you listen to?
I would love to hear from you! 🙂