Even though language courses sometimes underestimate its importance and focus on other skills instead, listening is one of the most important activities because it can get you lots of contact with your foreign language.
Not only will regular listening practice improve your pronunciation, it is also a great source of new vocabulary and a gateway to the language as it’s used by native speakers. Last but not least, it can be an incredibly relaxing and fun activity.
When we say ‘listening’, we don’t mean those boring recordings from your old Spanish textbook, which usually followed after perfectly structured lessons. We want to introduce you to the world of podcasts. Podcasts are audio blogs that you can listen to anywhere and anytime. Some are shorter, some longer… you know, just like real blogs!
“Podcasting” is a relatively new thing, but it already has millions of die-hard fans. Thanks to podcasts, listeners can not only educate themselves and discover lots of interesting new things, but also spend their time in a fun and exciting way. If you’re wondering how this kind of listening material could help you learn a foreign language, you’ve come to the right place!
If you’re at the beginning of your language-learning journey, find a podcast suitable for your level. Many podcasts even include lots of advice and tips for learning your foreign language. If you can already understand your language pretty well, there are basically no limits! You can listen to any podcast you want, even those produced for native speakers of the given language!
I don’t think there’s a topic that hasn’t been covered in a podcast. I’m sure you’ll discover something you’ll fall in love with! Of course, English has the widest variety of podcasts, but you can find lots of interesting podcasts in any world language you want.
Have you ever had to wait in a long line or traveled somewhere for a long time, regretting not bringing any language learning materials? If yes, podcasts might be the answer you’re looking for when you’re wondering what to do with these odd few minutes of “nothingness” during the day. You can even download them into your phone and listen to them offline if you don’t want to be using your cellular data.
You don’t have to listen to podcasts only when you have nothing better to do. You can turn this activity into regular listening practice. There are many podcasts with dozens, if not hundreds of episodes, so you don’t have to worry about ever running out of listening materials. Podcasts can be a great thing to listen to while you’re cooking or cleaning, but you can also sit down and focus all your attention on them. They’re incredibly versatile!
Thanks to podcasts, you’ll never struggle with a lack of new phrases for your Goldlist, Anki, or flashcards. If you regularly listen to the same podcast, you’ll not only review the vocabulary you’ve previously learned, but you’ll also acquire lots of other new words.
Sometimes, the conversation can stall, but if you agree with your language partner that you’ll both listen to the same episode of an interesting podcast, you’ll always have something to talk about. If you want to make it more engaging for your partner as well, take turns in choosing what you’re going to listen to, so that both of you can listen to topics you like.
In case you’re wondering how to get these amazing podcasts into your phone so that you can start listening to them right away, wonder no more! Try using Pocket Casts – probably the best podcast application out there! Just go through the quick initial setup and you can start exploring the fantastic world of podcasts in many languages.
Start listening today and get lots of contact with your foreign language thanks to podcasts. Your improved listening comprehension will also help you with other language skills!
HAND ON HEART, WHAT’S THE LEVEL OF YOUR FOREIGN LANGUAGE?
If you’ve spent a lot of years/energy/money to learn a language and still can’t use it with confidence and ease in real life… you’re probably thinking that you simply don’t have “talent for languages''. There’s no other explanation, right?!
Well, there actually is a reason why you haven’t seen the desired results. Do you want to know what it is? Register for my FREE WEBINAR and find out:
The author of this blog post is Daša Oravcová, a professional translator and member of the Language Mentoring team since 2018.
Language Mentoring provides a complete guide for learning any language using simple and often free resources on the internet and in bookshops. It was founded by polyglot, language mentor and author of this website, Lýdia Machová, in 2016. She's learned 9 languages by herself and she adds another one every other year. Her philosophy is that everybody can learn a language regardless talent, age or other qualities – if they know how to do it.