If you want to download free English conversations, you’ve come to the right place.
This page introduces you to some English-language podcasts. Podcasts are audio conversations you can download for free from the Internet.
Let’s get started.
English Conversations (Podcasts) for Beginners
If your listening skills are very bad, you should listen to podcasts made for English students. Below are a couple of good ones.
This podcast is hosted by a group of Canadian English teachers. Just like the previous podcast, the hosts of this podcast speak slowly. What I like about this podcast is that the teachers talk about a variety of topics (not just English learning). So, listening to this podcast is a good way for beginners to learn new vocabulary.
A podcast for those wanting to learn or improve their English. In this podcast, the speakers talk slowly, so it’s easy for beginners to understand. This podcast has over 1,800 episodes. That’s a lot of spoken English to listen to!
Update: ESL podcast isn’t free anymore. I’m looking for an alternative.
Note that, the speakers in these podcasts sometimes sound very unnatural (because they speak a lot slower than usual). So, I recommend listening to these podcasts only if you’re a complete beginner.
English Conversations (Podcasts) for Pre-Intermediates
If you’re not a beginner nor an intermediate, the podcasts below are for you. Unlike the previous podcasts, the conversations in these podcasts are real spoken English (no slowing down). However, they’re still quite easy to understand.
Another podcast about English learning. AJ Hoge, the host of this podcast, is a knowledgeable teacher. His podcast is easy to understand and interesting. I highly recommend it!
This podcast is pretty unique. It’s hosted by Jennifer from the USA and Dan from England. If you listen to this podcast, you’ll get to learn American and British English at the same time. This is a great way to improve your English listening!
English Conversations (Podcasts) for Intermediates
If your listening is at an intermediate level, it’s easy to find podcasts that you can understand. Below are some of those podcasts:
This podcast educates listeners on a wide variety of interesting topics like how the placebo effect works, how natural selection works, how online dating works, and so on. This podcast is for everyone. No matter what your interests are, you’ll likely find some episodes that interest you.
This podcast focuses on the topics of science and philosophy. It attempts to make broad, difficult topics like “time” and “morality” easier to understand. This podcast has received a ton of positive reviews on iTunes. If you love science, you’ll love this podcast.
This is a podcast for movie lovers. On this podcast, the hosts discuss the latest films, movie reviews, film news, television shows, and entertainment. Many English learners love watching movies. If you’re one of them, this podcast is for you.
Entrepreneur On Fire is a podcast for entrepreneurs and small business owners. If you are looking for inspiration, motivation, and ACTIONABLE advice on how to start a business, this podcast is for you. Each episode brings you a successful entrepreneur who shares their journey: Their failures, AH-HA moments, successes, and much more.
Money makes the world go around, faster and faster every day. But it can be complicated at times. So on this Planet Money podcast, you’ll meet economists and regular folks — all trying to make sense of our rapidly changing global economy. Examples of interesting episode are how to bore someone into donating an organ, will a computer decide whether you get your next job?, and the economist’s guide to drinking while pregnant.
Note that, some of the podcasts on this list might be challenging to understand, even for an intermediate. But that’s a good thing. For your listening to improve, you must listen to conversations that are “a bit challenging.”
How to Download
Step 1: Click on a podcast’s name to go to the podcast’s website.
Step 2: On the site, you’ll see a list of podcast episodes, click on an episode name to open the page for that episode.
Step 3: On the page for that episode, locate the download link.
Step 4: Right-click on the download link (or long-press if you’re using a smartphone), and select “Save link as” to download the audio file (usually in MP3 format).
Make sure you download many episodes so that you don’t have to do this very often.
Note: Different podcast websites will have layouts. But the steps for downloading the audio files are pretty much the same.
In this section, you can find my answers to the most frequently-asked questions.
What should I do if I don’t understand what I’m listening to?
Unlike movies, most podcasts don’t have transcripts. If you don’t understand some parts of the conversation, there’s no way to know what words are spoken in those parts.
So, what should you do when that happens?
Well, there are three things you can do. You can read about them in this article, which explains (in detail) how you can improve your listening skills in English.
I don’t find most of these podcasts interesting. Do you have other recommendations?
In this case, I suggest that you search for podcasts yourself. People have different interests, so it’s impossible for me to know what podcasts you’ll like.
Here are some ideas of phrases you can type into Google:
- Most interesting podcasts
- Podcasts everyone should listen to
- Entertaining podcasts
- Educational podcasts
If you want to listen to conversations about a specific topic, you can type in the topic name followed by the word “podcasts”:
- Travel podcasts
- Health & fitness podcasts
- Dog Podcasts
Note that, if you’re a beginner, it can be difficult to find podcasts that are easy for you. So, I suggest that you look for podcasts for English students because the hosts of these podcasts tend to speak slower than usual.
Here are some phrases you can use:
- Podcasts for English students
- Learn English podcasts
- ESL podcasts (ESL stands for English as a Second Language)
It takes too much time to go to these different websites to download podcasts. Is there a faster way to do this?
Yes, there’s a faster way to download and listen to podcasts.
You need to install a “podcast app” on your smartphone. Just go to your app store and type in “podcast app,” and pick one with good ratings.
A good podcast app will lets you…
- Find and subscribe to podcasts.
- Download podcasts episodes to your phone’s memory.
- Listen to the episodes you’ve downloaded (even when your phone isn’t connected to the Internet).
If your phone has limited Internet data, I highly recommend that you download a lot of episodes ahead of time over a WIFI network. (You can just go through the list of episodes and tap on the download icon for as many episodes as you want.) This way, you can listen to English conversations without using your phone’s Internet data.
Don’t forget to delete old episodes every now and then otherwise your phone will run out of memory.
Why should I listen to podcasts instead of audiobooks or movies?
I believe listening to podcasts is the best way to improve your English listening skills because:
- Conversations in most podcasts are real spoken English – the type of English you will hear in an English-speaking country.
- Podcasts are audio. You can download them to your smartphone and listen to them at any place and any time. This allows you to listen to a lot of conversational English every day.
- Unlike audiobooks or movies, podcasts are FREE. Which means you can listen to a lot of conversational English without spending money.
Have your own questions or feedback? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.