Something which only appeals to a small number of people.
To be of your taste.
Done carefully with attention to detail.
Expand your knowledge of the world.
To end a telephone call.
Where a reported spends a lot of time deeply investigating a subject.
A dramatic ending to an episode which leaves the audience in suspense.
Amusing and entertaining.
Podcasts have been growing in influence in recent years, with new podcasts coming out seemingly every day. Everyone from your favourite celebrity to your uncle Brian has a podcast, and they cover just about every topic you can imagine! They are a great way of improving your English as they get you used to hearing native speakers, but also because you can find podcasts about topics that really interest you, no matter how niche they are. Here we have some suggestions of podcasts to get you started, just in time for International Podcast Day. Which ones tickle your fancy?
Podcasts for English Learners
There is a great number of podcasts made specifically for English learners. These are really useful because they are clear, slow and simple enough to make it easy to understand for non-native speakers. The BBC has produced several, including their 6 Minute Vocabulary podcast, which covers important vocabulary for beginners on a wide range of topics, and 6 Minute English which has more in-depth discussion of interesting subjects, but is still easy to understand and packed into just six minutes. Another great option is Luke’s English Podcast, with English teacher and stand-up comedian Luke Thompson, whose aim is to make you laugh while you learn.
Podcasts to broaden your mind
Are you the kind of person who is always trying to expand your knowledge of the world? Well, there are countless podcasts out there which would be perfect for you. Take Stuff You Should Know, whose name is pretty self-explanatory; it will inform you on subjects as diverse as champagne, chaos theory, Rosa Parks and LSD. If you are a music nerd, Song Exploder is a great option: it’s a podcast where musicians dissect their own songs and explain how they were made. 99% Invisible is a podcast which takes a look at the design of the world around us: if you have ever wondered why money is the colour it is, or what the origin of the fortune cookie is, this is the podcast for you! PRI’s the World is basically a news show, but it gets in-depth, human perspectives on stories which you wouldn’t find in traditional news. Check it out!
TV and Movie Podcasts
Do you binge watch TV series? Are you the type who always wants to have a deep discussion about the last episode you watched? Then there is surely a podcast for you! A quick search of the name your favourite series + ‘podcast’ will provide you with that extra discussion that you crave. There are also great movie podcasts out there, such as How Did This Get Made?, which is dedicated to the greatness of hilariously bad movies. Collider is a great place to get reviews of the latest films to hit the big screens, while The Rewatchables is dedicated to those types of movies you can’t stop watching again and again.
Podcasts which tell the stories of real people
One of the great things about podcasts is that they tell the stories of voices we don’t normally hear from. This American Life tells the stories of compelling people from all different walks of society, it’s a podcast which puts a lot of care and effort into telling interesting stories. In Beautiful/Anonymous the host listens to the confessional, strange and sometimes shocking stories of anonymous callers, and he can’t hangup first. WTF has comedian Marc Maron interview more famous individuals (from Barack Obama to Dave Grohl), but his gift is in getting them to speak from the heart, and to cover personal subjects not usually talked about in interviews.
True Crime Podcasts
If you are in need of a thrill, these podcasts are for you! True crime podcasts have enjoyed massive popularity in part due to the success of Serial: a weekly podcast which investigated the real-life murder of Hae Min Lee. The investigative journalism format and the cliff-hangers at the end of each week made it a thrilling listen. Criminal calls itself a “true crime podcast that understands crime”, and blends story-telling and introspection well. Alternatively, My Favorite Murder takes a more light-hearted and comedic approach, while keeping the interest in the morbid alive.