Learning English is critical if you want to live, study and work in Australia. Of course, becoming fluent is no easy feat, particularly since the English language is full of complex spelling, phrases, idioms and nuances.
For those hoping to learn English, podcasts and audiobooks are a great place to start. They’re fun, informative and often mimic the dialect of English you’re likely to encounter on your Australian journey more accurately than a textbook. Plus, you can listen to them anytime, anywhere, whether you’re on the bus to work or making dinner at home.
Keen to get started? We’ve put together this list of some easy audiobooks to learn English with as well as the best podcasts to learn English.
SBS Learn English
The SBS Learn English podcast is an excellent first step to make in your English language journey, especially if you’re planning to move to Australia. The podcast details important facts about Australian English and its quirks that set it apart from British and American English. It also highlights important things to know about Australian culture, so it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with it before you move. This is one of the best podcasts to learn English and is available via Spotify.
500 Really Useful Phrases
This audiobook is one of the best resources for taking your English language skills to the next level. Learn 500 phrases that help you make sense of the English-speaking world around you and grow more fluent in the process. You’ll need an Audible account to listen to this one, but if you don’t have an account yet, you can access a free trial to see if the audiobook is right for you.
The English We Speak
Similar to 500 Really Useful Phrases, this BBC podcast takes the English language out of the classroom and into the real world. Each episode will take you through a specific phrase or saying in the English language, such as ‘There’s nothing to it’ and ‘Don’t mind me’. You’ll learn what these expressions mean and how to use them yourself in everyday life. Listen for free via the BBC website.
6 Minute English
Another BBC podcast, 6 Minute English does exactly what you’d imagine. Each episode is six minutes long and explores a particular subject while teaching you valuable and relevant vocabulary along the way. Episodes cover subjects like coffee, Agatha Christie, boredom and The Olympics, so you’re sure to find an episode on a subject that interests you. Available on Spotify, this is one of the best podcasts to learn English if you’re tight on time.
Available via the British Council website, the LearnEnglish podcast involves a conversation between several hosts about everyday subjects including travel, popular media, studying, culture and more. The conversations are similar to what you’d encounter in your everyday life in an English-speaking country. As a result, it’s a great way to improve your conversational English and comprehension skills.
This podcast is hosted by Pete Smissen, a true blue Aussie who helps others discover what makes Australian English so special. His weekly episodes are a mix of news, interviews and short lessons on particular elements of the English language as spoken by Aussies. Pete covers expressions like ‘to be on a roll’, which has nothing to do with bread, and ‘knock yourself out’, which does not involve hitting yourself in the face. Listen to this Australian English learning podcast on Spotify.
English Pronunciation: Pronounce It Perfectly in 4 months Fun & Easy
If you’re hoping to master the pronunciation of English words, this is the audiobook for you. English teacher and author Ken Xiao – who didn’t speak a word of English when he moved to the United States at 17 years old – helps you learn how to pronounce English terms like a pro. His promise is that, in just four months of regular practice, you’ll achieve 100% accuracy. Fun and informative, this audiobook is available on Audible.
This American Life
This podcast is for those who are a bit more advanced on their English language journey. Each week, this American podcast delves deep into a few stories, whether they be personal, political or informative. Every episode is well-researched and deeply interesting. Be warned: this podcast may make you laugh out loud on the train, so listen with caution! You can listen to This American Life on Spotify.
Learning English doesn’t have to consist only of textbooks and exams. Podcasts and audiobooks make learning English fun and accessible. Whether you listen while you have a cup of coffee, wash your dishes or exercise, podcasts and audiobooks are an immersive experience that will help you increase your English skills in no time.
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