Podcasts for the ESL Teacher – or Any Teacher!

Podcasts for the ESL Teacher – or Any Teacher!

Do you miss sharing ideas with colleagues around the copy machine? Is having regular interaction with others on topics of language, teaching and culture something hard to come by these days? Maybe listening to a good podcast can help fill the void.

I listen to many hours of podcasts each week. Whether I’m driving, walking around the neighborhood, doing housework or marking my attendance in SID, I like to listen to downloaded audio on my phone for entertainment, distraction and learning. Below are some podcasts I’ve listened to that I think are of particular interest to ESL teachers. Each of the podcasts mentioned can be searched for and downloaded via smartphone podcast apps, or listened to via the links provided.

If you are new to podcasts and wondering how to get started, here’s a good how-to resource:


Podcasts for ESL Teachers (or any teacher)

Oxford Adult ESL Podcast

This one is listed at the top because it is really just for us adult ESL professionals. The host, Jayme-Adelson Goldstein (Oxford Picture Dictionary, Step Forward, and a previous national presenter at ATLAS events) interviews experts on subjects of interest in our field such as Standards, Rigor and Civics Integration. The episodes are few but high-quality and relevant for ABE. The most recent episode is an interview with Andy Nash (The Change Agent) on the topic of Social Justice.


Cult of Pedagogy

Most episodes are interviews on specific topics of teaching, and not ESL-specific. A listener can begin by choosing a topic of interest from the 150+ episodes. A very practical highlight is the annual “6 Ed Tech Tools to Try” episode.


DIESOL Podcast (Digital Integration in English as a Second or Other Language)

Conversational exchanges between adult educator co-hosts and ESL-practitioner guests on specific topics of ESL. Although the title says “Digital Integration,” they do cover other topics and can sometimes nerd-out on grammar.


Podcasts of interest for those interested in language and lives around world

NPR Rough Translation

Tagline: How are the things we’re talking about being talked about somewhere else in the world? These are well-produced, documentary-style stories of lives and experiences generally outside our view. Think This American Life, but usually outside of America.


Feet in 2 Worlds: A Better Life?

Stories of first, second and third generation U.S. immigrants as told by journalists from immigrant families. Each episode tells a different story about how COVID-19 is effecting lives, and what immigrants, especially elders, are learning about being American.



Tells stories of our obsessions with language, supported by the Linguistic Society of America.


The Allusionist

If you’re in need of a little humor: The Allusionist is a sometimes snarky, sometimes NSFW (“not safe for work”) examination of word origins and use. Helen Zaltzman brings a comedic edge to discussions with experts on language and history. A recent episode addresses how language used in saying “sorry” can result in a fauxpology.


NPR Science Diction

Exploration of word origins, usage and evolution, with a science angle. They focus on one word or phrase per episode.


Dan Bruski, ESL Teacher Adult Options in Education