Did you know how effective listening to podcasts is if you want to improve your English speaking and listening? If you are not a native English speaker, you may have to face a lot of problems communicating in English on a daily basis. So, if you have had enough, you should probably be looking for some effective ways to help you enhance your skills as an ESL speaker. One of the best ways that we can suggest to you is listening to podcasts, which is not only an effective way to help you learn how to improve your English with podcasts but also has many other advantages.
With that in mind, read on to find out how listening to podcasts might help you improve your English.
Can Listening to Podcasts Help You Speak English Better?
Speaking English accurately is not the only milestone that most people want to achieve. In fact, all four skills are equally important.
Therefore, while writing this article, our main purpose is not only to illustrate how listening to podcasts is an effective approach to improving your speaking skills, but it is also helpful in improving your English pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, and fluency.
Improve Your English Speaking Skills
You must be wondering if listening to podcasts might help you enhance your English speaking abilities. Listening to podcasts has been proved in several studies to improve not only your English listening abilities but also your English speaking skills.
Students who listened to podcasts had greater confidence throughout the test than those who did not, according to research done to see how podcasts affect students studying Chinese. Similarly, we found that Indonesian students studying English as a second language had comparable effects.
Furthermore, listening to podcasts offers several advantages for students, including improving their vocabulary, accent, and pronunciation.
You might be asking yourself, “HOW?” at this point.
Well, podcasts can help you enhance several aspects of your English speaking ability, such as vocabulary, grammar, fluency, pronunciation, and accuracy.
With that being said, let us now learn how to improve your English with podcasts step by step.
Improve Your Vocabulary
By vocabulary, we mean all the words that a person knows or understands the meaning of. So, the more words that you understand, the larger your vocabulary will be. Therefore, the easier it will be for you to speak, read, and write in English.
A study conducted among Iranian students showed that they learned more new words through podcasts better than through traditional exercises. Learning new words in a list is indeed boring, outdated, and ineffective. But while listening to podcasts you get to learn new words and how to fit them into your sentences practically.
Grammar is the set of rules that make any language. It teaches us how to string words together to form a phrase or a sentence. Therefore, it is the primary emphasis of any English language class. To put it another way, English grammar helps us employ the same set of rules and structures. So that we can understand what the other person is attempting to communicate.
Now let’s look at how podcasts may help us improve our grammar. English learners may learn how to utilize any structure appropriately by listening to native speakers. As a result, it assists us in developing a sense of what sounds correct and what does not. As a result, they can use examples while speaking or writing.
We can sum this up in such a way that if the grammar is the traffic lights of a language, listening to podcasts would be a driving lesson.
Furthermore, listening to podcasts can also help us understand which grammar structures are used only while speaking. For instance, slang words and double negatives are only used while speaking as they are less formal. Thus, if you want a more fun approach to learning grammar than the traditional ways, we suggest you listen to podcasts.
Pronunciation is how words are spoken. It includes the speaker’s intonation, stress, and voicing. Though there is not any right accent or way of pronunciation, ESL students still need to learn to pronounce words in such a way that would be easier for listener to understand them.
While listening to native speakers pronounce words, we, as ESL students, get better at pronouncing words how they should be. For instance, one of the most common mistakes that ESL students make is stressing the wrong syllable or the wrong word in a sentence.
So, if you want to improve your pronunciation including stressing the correct syllable of the word, you should listen to podcasts more often.
In addition, you can also read the transcript of the podcast if available. Because it is helpful in active learning and it also shows how to pronounce unfamiliar words.
It refers to a person’s ability to speak at a speed, smoothly, and without having to stop to think too much. Also, fluency is not speaking correctly. So, if you do not speak slowly and do not take pauses while speaking, then you are a fluent speaker.
How do podcasts help us improve our fluency?
Studies show that listening improves fluency. For instance, a study conducted was conducted among Iranian students in which students had to choose whether they wanted to listen to podcasts after their class or not. Those students who listened to podcasts performed better than those who did not. Besides, they also scored more in the fluency rating.
All in all, we do not suggest nonnative speakers speak very fast. Instead, figure out the pace that you are comfortable with and listen to podcasts more to improve your English.
Hence, podcasts are one of the best language learning tools. Initially, when you start listening to podcasts, you may find it hard to understand. But you should never give up. If you find a podcast hard to understand, pick another one. Besides, set aside a certain amount of time daily to listen to podcasts. It can as less as 10 minutes. Additionally, you can add a notebook where you can write down key takeaways from each podcast that you listen to.
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