Listening to Podcasts – Tips & Tasks for English Learners

At ESL Library, we add a new podcast to our blog every Wednesday. These podcasts are short, graded readings from our ready-made lessons. Teachers can use these to preview the lessons in the library. They can also flip their classrooms by asking students to listen to an article for homework before doing the related lesson in class.

English learners can listen to ESL Library podcasts for free. They can browse our podcast library and listen at any time. They can also download the audio and listen on the go. Learners will find hundreds of podcasts to listen to. Teachers who subscribe to ESL Library can supply their learners with the transcripts. The recordings can also be used without transcripts.

Listening Tips for Learners

There are so many things to listen to online! ESL Library podcasts are just one example. They are easy to find and easy to use. Here are some listening tips for learners who use podcasts:

  • Choose podcast/listening topics that interest you.
  • Make listening goals.
  • Listen a bit every day.
  • Track your listening. Make a list!
  • Listen to each podcast more than once.
  • Bookmark your favorite podcast on your mobile device.
  • Download ahead of time, and listen on the go!
  • Share your favorite listening resources with your friends.
  • Choose a task to do with each podcast.

Listening Tasks for Learners

There are so many things learners can do to improve their listening skills. Here are some example tasks for learners to try:

  • Predict and listen. What do you think this will be about?
  • Listen for just the main idea/gist. Tell someone what it was about.
  • Listen for words you don’t know. Look up the meanings.
  • Listen and note words that are pronounced differently than you thought.
  • Listen for keywords. Which words do you think are important?
  • Listen for repeated key vocabulary.
  • Listen and repeat parts of the recording out loud. Focus on rhythm.
  • Listen and pause every … seconds. Repeat the last line you heard.
  • Listen and stop halfway. What do you think will come next?
  • Listen and reproduce a small excerpt in writing.
  • Listen and paraphrase a section. Use your own words.
  • Listen and summarize the entire podcast in writing.
  • Listen and respond with your opinion in spoken or written form.
  • Listen and read along out loud. Ask your teacher for the transcript.
  • Listen and learn. What did you not already know?
  • Listen and research. What else do you want to know?
  • Listen and make a quiz. Write comprehension questions for a friend.
  • Listen for pleasure. Just listen and enjoy.

Note: Try one task per podcast.

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