Free ESL podcasts

Happy Jizo statue in SendaiThere is a great selection of English podcasts for learners.

But there are also many not-so-good, irregularly updated and expensive subscription podcasts out there.

The following are the best of the best free ESL podcasts, from podcasters who have been around for years, consistently delivering excellent material to English language students.

  • ESL Pod has a variety of topics and posts several new podcasts each week, complete with learning guides.
  • is my favourite, mostly because I use the company’s excellent Japanese and German podcasts myself! Transcripts and additional resources and tools are available for paid members.
  • Dig Into English is a relatively new podcast, hosted by fellow Australian Ben Henschke.
  • Podcasts in English offer many podcasts on a variety of themes and levels. Additional worksheets are available for members.
  • Luke’s English Podcast has both audio and video recordings with transcripts available from his blog.
  • A Cup Of English has dialog-style podcasts with transcripts available on the blog.
  • Breaking News English hosts a huge number of blog posts and podcasts with additional resources for all levels of English learners. Themes are taken from current news and events.

The BBC offers several free podcasts for English learners, most published once a week.

If you have a favourite that I haven’t mentioned, let me know in the comments below!

Do you know someone who will find this post useful? Please share it!


  1. Hi Kymberly,

    Thanks very much for mentioning Dig into English, especially in a group of such high-quality podcasts. Podcasts are really a wonderful innovation for language learners.

    It’s incredibly exciting to see how IT is shaping language education. Do you think your IT background has helped you as a language teacher?

    All the best,


  2. Hi Ben,

    You are very welcome! I’m happy to include your podcast, both for it’s quality, and as it highlights another accent (Australian) – something my students struggle with!

    I love the opportunities that apps, podcasts, vodcasts, blogs and such tools provide language learners. And they have certainly helped me in learning Japanese and German.

    When I’m teaching classes of younger students (teens – 40 year olds), my IT background comes in very handy. These students have to work with technology, and many also play with it, so it’s great being able to relate to them, and engage them on a platform they enjoy and find useful.

    But many of my students are retired, and are reluctant to use or explore such tools. In these classes, my background can sometimes be a hindrance, because I’m so enthusiastic about it! I’d love to pull them a little more into using these great tools, but …

    Would you recommend any other great podcasts to include in this list?

    Thanks for stopping by!


    • Hi Kym,

      I know of another free podcast called Listen to English that’s spoken in a slow, clear British accent. Unfortunately it seems like it’s no longer being updated, but there are plenty of past episodes.

      I can imagine that technology has varying degrees of usefulness depending on who you’re teaching. For example, despite many attempts, I’ve never been able to teach my mum exactly what a podcast is. We can only keep trying!


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