- STEP ONE: Listen!
- STEP TWO: Listen with the aid material
- STEP THREE: Practice the transcript text
- FOURTH STEP: Try the "shadowing" technique
- FIFTH STEP: Make notes of the podcasts you listen to
If you've never heard of ways to learn English through podcasts, don't worry. Once you have read this article, you will be an expert on the subject!
Brazil is currently the second country in the world with the largest number of podcast users. I'm sure you already follow several podcasts through your mobile apps.
Maybe you just never thought about listening to them to learn English?
This is your definitive guide with easy tips on using podcasts to make your learning even more efficient. Follow it with us:
The best way to get started is more straightforward than you might think: just listen!
No additional aids, that is, no transcripts, no vocabulary list. Assess what and how much you can understand.
It may seem not easy at first, but you will probably be surprised how much you can understand just using this method!
This technique is important initially, so you don't get used to using transcripts and vocabulary right from the start.
These materials exist as a study aid, but their ultimate goal is to prove you're a master of English! So – it should always be able to understand the podcast content without needing them.
Here's a great way to get started: with native English podcasts via English Learning for Curious Minds Podcasts. You will find curious and interesting topics about everything you can imagine, a fun way to learn fun facts about the world.
If you tried the first step and found it difficult, that's fine. The help material is available for you precisely for these moments.
Transcript allows you to follow the text while listening to the audio, and the vocabulary list is created to help you with the most challenging words.
Use this opportunity to mark essential parts of the text. For example, which parts did you find easy or difficult to understand and why?
Try to learn more about new words, write synonyms, and build sentences using the new vocabulary. This is an excellent way of memorization.
A fun way to take your learning a step further is to practice reading the transcript text aloud.
That's right! Reading aloud activates several active learning mechanisms and helps you improve your reading and your speaking and listening.
Choose a quiet location without too many outside distractions. This will help you stay focused on this method of study without disruption and interruption.
If you can, I also advise you to record your reading. That way, you'll be able to review which parts of the speech were smooth and fluid and which others need a little more training.
Compared to the original podcast. What differences do you identify?
Maybe "shadowing" is a new term, but don't worry, we explained: "shadowing" is a method where you read simultaneously as the original narrator.
It may seem a little confusing at first, especially since you hear two voices at the same time, yours and the narrator.
But you'll get used to it quickly. The secret is to focus on your reading and your text and only keep up with the time of the original narration.
Reading the text a few times before starting the "shadowing." So, you familiarize yourself with the subject, with the expressions and vocabulary of that specific podcast.
Recount the reading a few times to gain fluency and get used to the moments when you need pauses and stronger intonations.
Practice makes perfect: you will see how you will love this method after a few attempts at training in this technique!
Keep a notebook of the podcasts you follow
the most exciting episodes,
the most valuable and unexpected expressions,
the most complex vocabulary to remember.
Try creating categories or separating these sections to access them if you need to refer back quickly.
Doing so requires some extra effort, we know.
But the advantages are numerous: you will have your study organized and easily accessible if you need to review or use that content at another time. Plus, you'll be able to track your progress in learning English and see how much you're learning!
These were our invaluable tips on how to learn English with podcasts.
Now that you have the step-by-step instructions on how to make your learning more efficient, we invite you to a challenge: listen to a podcast this week, and mark the episode's name.
Listen to the same podcast after six months when trying to follow our tips. You will most likely see a podcast that looked difficult six months ago now seems so much easier.
It's not magic. It's your effort and learning. The techniques we present to you here have everything to make you a better student.
Are you up for this challenge?
We love to hear what you think of our articles here on the blog. So please share with us which tip you found the coolest!