Languages Through Listening: Podcasts for Learning a New Language

Learning a language, whether it's your second, third or tenth, is easier when you can hear the language spoken aloud. This is especially true for children, for whom learning a new language through reading may be particularly difficult. Because they're audio-based, podcasts make language study faster and simpler. The following list includes podcasts covering a wide range of languages.

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1. Coffee Break French

Coffee Break French is one of several podcast-based language courses designed to help beginners master the language. This course is taught by Mark, a veteran French teacher. He's joined by Anna, who learns the language alongside listeners. The producers also make Coffee Break Spanish.


This podcast teaches both Japanese language skills and Japanese culture. The dynamic podcast mixes audio lessons, video lessons and more. Subscribers have access to an online learning center and an active user community for further language development.

3. Mandarin Chinese Lessons with Serge Melnyk

Designed for true beginners, this podcast builds fluency in Mandarin Chinese through study in multiple formats. In addition to the audio lessons, there are pdf transcripts, worksheets and videos to further develop your mastery. The focus of the instruction is on conversational language.

4. Discover Spanish

Discover Spanish teaches listeners the Spanish language through 15-minute lessons. The podcasts feature native Spanish speakers who try to engage the listener in conversation. The topics are practical, including lessons on ordering at a restaurant and discussing the weather.

5. Slow German

Annik Rubens, a German podcaster, produces this series from Munich. The podcasts help those with a basic knowledge of the language improve their competency. Rubens slowly reads stories about Germany so that listeners can understand the words. Topics include Oktoberfest and German food.

6. Speaking Russian

Speaking Russian is intended for listeners with no previous knowledge of Russian. The podcast teaches the language from the most basic words and phrases to more sophisticated conversational Russian. The teacher, Olga Mitchell, also provides helpful worksheets on her website that complement the podcast lessons.


This podcasts teaches both Korean language and culture. There are daily audio lessons that lay the foundation for the language. These are complemented by video lessons, an online community and a Korean Word of the Day.

8. Arabic - SurvivalPhrases produces these podcasts that focus on Arabic language and culture. Each podcast focuses on simple and highly useful pieces of language for the beginning learner of Arabic. These include simple phrases, such as asking where the bathroom is or stating that you don't understand Arabic. The series also covers common situations, like ordering food at a restaurant.

9. Latinum

Latinum is a Latin language course that uses audio immersion to teach. You can download a pdf-based textbook and lessons that accompany the podcasts. Lessons mix educational content with readings from classical texts in Latin. The latter includes a Latin translation of the Bible.

10. English as a Second Language Podcast

This podcast for non-native English speakers uses language lessons that incorporate helpful information about life in the United States. This mix of language and cultural literacy covers pronunciation, idioms, slang and other facets of English. The podcast is produced by the Center for Educational Development.

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