Whether you’re just starting to learn a language, or you’ve been studying it your whole life, one of the best ways to improve your language skills is through listening.
In fact, according to the World Economic Forum, simply hearing a foreign language being spoken in the background can help improve language skills as much as actually speaking the words out loud. The benefits of listening to a foreign language even extend to when you’re not paying attention; another study found that passive, or distracted, listening can also significantly improve language skills.
Podcasts are a great way to integrate this into your everyday routine. From commuting to cooking dinner to going for a jog, pop on one of these 8 informative, fun, and interesting podcasts. Who knows? You might soon be speaking like a native.
1. “News in Slow French Podcast”
Each day, “News in Slow” brings you exactly what it advertises: the day’s news, but spoken at a much slower clip than a typical broadcast. Lasting between seven to 10 minutes, this podcast is a great way to wake up your brain — and go into the day with a slightly better sense of what Trump might do next. – Download from Apple store here, Google Play here
2. “One Thing in a French Day”
Want to live vicariously through a very kind (and also very easy to understand) Parisian woman? “One Thing in a French Day” lets you do just this. The podcast’s host, Laetitia, goes to boulangeries, chats with her friends, makes some of her favorite dishes, and generally just lives the sort of life we all want but none of us have. – Download from Apple store here
Eleven-year-old Justine is a typical French teenage girl who just happens to be the subject of a podcast about what it’s like to come of age in the modern world. Justine talks about her daily travails, internet meme culture, and more. The podcast offers a fascinating glimpse not just into her life, but into the lives of her peers as they face down an increasingly uncertain future. – Download from Apple store here, play on YouTube here
“Transfert” is a podcast about the moments and experiences that change our lives irrevocably. A revelatory road trip. A traumatic childhood experience. A romance gone sour. Every week features a different person and a different story, but almost all unveil powerful truths about the way us humans see the world. – Download from Apple store here, play on Soundcloud here, play on YouTube here
Much like “Transfert,” “Superhéros” takes as its subject the humans we encounter every day. But this podcast shows why those people — our neighbors, teachers, family members, and friends — are actually quite extraordinary. These powerful, multi-episode interviews dive deep into the stories of the heroes around us hiding in plain sight. – Download from Apple store here, play on Soundcloud here
6. “Nouvelle Ecole”
“Nouvelle Ecole” is a podcast about being your best self. The podcast features interviews with entrepreneurs, artists, designers, writers, and others who set a goal for themselves and simply went for it. The interviews tend to be on the longer side — about an hour —but if you manage to listen to all of it you’ll no doubt walk away ready to change the world. -Download from Apple store here, play on Soundcloud here
7. “La Poudre”
A podcast fit for our era, “La Poudre” is a feminist podcast made by women for women (oh, and definitely men, too). Hosted by journalist Lauren Bastide, this biweekly podcast tackles some of the big questions in the 21st century feminist movement. Bastide enters into conversation with some of France’s most powerful and inspirational women. – Download from Apple store here, play on Spotify here, play on Soundcloud here
8. “Arte Radio Nouveautés”
Arte Radio has a bit of something for everyone. From its “Le Tchip” segment, which takes on questions of race, hip-hop, and pop culture, to “Sex and Sounds,” about the acoustics of sex noises (NSFW), “Arte Radio” gets quite creative with the art of podcasting. The result is a podcast that is sometimes funny, sometimes reflective, and almost always a surprise. – Download from Apple store here, play on Stitcher here