learn english spotify

How to Learn English on Spotify: Tricks and Tracks You’ve Got to Try

People in trains.

Students in classes.

Shopkeepers in stores.

Almost anywhere you go, you will find people wearing headphones and enjoying their favorite music.

Thanks to services like Spotify, we now have access to a whole world of sound right in our smartphones.

But we mostly use it to get away from the world around us. We use it as another distraction.

What if you could transform Spotify into a tool to learn more about the world?

What if you could even use it to learn the English language?

In this post, we will show you how it can be done.

We will give you some Spotify hacks to maximize your English learning, plus 16 of the best English audio resources you can find on this incredible app.
 


 
Learn a foreign language with videos

What Is Spotify?

Spotify is an online service that lets users listen to music anywhere. The name “Spotify” is a mixture of the words “spot” and “identify” (both mean to see or find something—which makes sense since many people use Spotify to discover new music).

Most of its features are free but some, like music downloads, require a subscription.

Spotify is available in more than 60 countries and can be used on a computer, smartphone or tablet, which means you can have access to great English listening content anywhere you go.

How to Maximize Spotify for English Listening

  • View song lyrics: Learners can view the lyrics of most English songs on Spotify. Just tap on the “Now Playing” bar at the bottom when a song is playing.

This feature is very useful for building your listening and reading comprehension skills, as well as expanding your vocabulary. It also allows you to get the backstory about how the lyrics were written and what inspired the artist.

  • Create playlists: Playlists are lists of audio arranged according to some common theme. You can make playlists of English songs or podcasts based on whether they are good for listening practice, vocabulary building or some other English learning skill.

Just go to your library on Spotify and click on “create new playlist.”

  • Listen without internet: You can use Spotify to play the podcasts and songs already on your phone or computer. With the Spotify Premium subscription, you can also download your favorite audio and listen to it without any internet access.

This is especially useful when you want to learn while traveling and there is no Wi-Fi.

  • Get personalized listening recommendations: Spotify’s Daily Mix feature recommends new songs based on what you like and helps you discover new artists. This is great if you learn English better through music, as you will not have to constantly search for new songs.
  • Avoid “explicit” listening: Spotify will tell you when a song is explicit, meaning it contains curse words or some other content that is not suitable for kids or the workplace. This makes it easier to listen to English songs anywhere or to find family-friendly listening content.
  • Use it for karaoke: Karaoke is a musical game where players sing a song by following the tune and lyrics on a screen. If you search the name of a song with the word “karaoke,” you can find numerous such recordings on Spotify.

Karaoke is a really fun and powerful way to test your English pronunciation and vocabulary memory.

  • Add unknown songs you discover by chance: You can use the Shazam app on your phone or computer and automatically add a new song to your Spotify playlist. So in case you hear that perfect English song on the radio or at a store while shopping, you can save it for listening practice later.

If you enjoy this type of supercharged English listening practice, FluentU is the best tool to supplement your learning. FluentU provides authentic English videos, including music videos as well as movie trailers, TV clips, inspiring talks and more, that have been transformed into personalized language lessons. Each video comes with interactive captions, flashcards, full transcripts and exercises so you learn English while you listen and watch.

The videos are organized by genre and level, so it is easy to find ones that work for you. Plus, FluentU suggests new videos based on what you have already learned. You can explore the full video library for free with a FluentU trial.

Spot On: The Complete Guide to Learning English on Spotify

The Best English Learning Podcasts on Spotify

The English We Speak

learn english spotify

Level: Beginner

This is perhaps the largest English listening resource on Spotify. It has around 200 episodes. In each episode, they take a phrase and feature various conversations using that phrase.

The phrases are explained clearly by the hosts and at least three examples are presented in every episode.

The episodes are generally around two to four minutes long and are specifically made for listening practice. Since the show is made by the BBC, it features British English. It is best to keep this fact in mind since many of these phrases are not generally used by Americans.

The resource is excellent for beginners and it is specifically designed for them.

Everyday Language

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Level: Beginner to intermediate

This podcast by Mark Quah is a helpful collection of recordings about tips, discussions and confusing concepts in English. Mark also talks about the differences in cultures that are relevant to English learners. For instance, in the episode “Colours and Vision,” the speakers talk about how different colors mean different things in English and Japanese cultures.

Some episodes are also dedicated to specific phrases in English like “the world is your oyster” and “don’t bite off more than you can chew.”

The style of this series is very casual and conversational. The topics are always related to personal experiences and how culture impacts those experiences. It is a good source for learning informal English.

Intermediate learners can learn a lot about the details of English culture and daily life. Beginners can focus more on the episodes that deal with vocabulary and phrases.

English at Home Is Fun

learn english spotify

Level: Beginner to intermediate

This show is hosted by Michael, Naho and Noriko. Michael is an English teacher in the U.S. and Noriko teaches English in Japan. Naho is the nine-year-old daughter of Noriko who is quite fluent in English.

Each episode is a casual discussion about festivals, games, food, books and learning tips. Sometimes other English teachers also join these hosts.

The podcast is a great resource for learning slang and casual English. It also focuses a lot on cultural learning, so if you are interested in American or Japanese culture, you will love this show!

Most episodes are 10 or 15 minutes long and use quite simple vocabulary.

Learning English Meditation

learn english spotify

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Learning English Meditation is a series of English-language podcasts that are designed to be low-stress. The series has different parts for learning idioms, exam preparation and grammar.

The audio has a soothing background music that helps you calm down and focus on the words.

You can use this resource in many ways. You can write down the sentences and idioms to practice writing and spelling. You can also repeat after the speaker to practice pronunciation. It is also a good idea to write down any words you do not understand and search its meaning online.

The Living in English 365 Podcast

learn english spotify

Level: Beginner to intermediate

English is famous for confusing pronunciation. There are so many words that are pronounced differently than they are spelled. This podcast will help you learn some basic tips to make you a better English speaker.

Hosted by Ashley Rhone, the podcast often talks about American culture and the experience of being a teacher in the U.S. For instance, she talks about when is it okay to hug a person in America. She also talks about the various ways Americans greet each other.

The episodes are around 10 minutes long and are ideal for beginner to intermediate learners.

Grammar Girl

learn english spotify

Level: Beginner to advanced

As the name suggests, this podcast deals with everything related to English grammar. It will clear up confusing grammar concepts and help you improve your writing. It also talks about how to improve your communication style. For instance, in one episode, the host explains when adverbs are good to use and which adverbs are useless.

The show also has special portions for grammar and interesting English facts, like why spelling contests are called “spelling bees.”

Overall, Grammar Girl has something for every learner regardless of level. But intermediate learners will benefit the most from this show.

Plain English

learn english spotify

Level: Intermediate

This is a famous podcast that not only teaches new English words and phrases but also talks about current events. Every episode covers one news story and one new word or phrase.

The host speaks in a steady and slow voice so that learners are able to follow what is being said. Moreover, the Plain English website also has the written version of each episode (also called a transcript). So learners can practice listening and reading at the same time!

The podcast is best for students and people who are interested in what is happening in the world. But since the episodes are about 20 minutes long, they might be a little overwhelming for beginners.

Premier Skills English

learn english spotify

Level: Intermediate

Are you an English learner who loves soccer (also known as football)? If so, then this is the podcast you always wished for.

Each episode of this show talks about the soccer matches of the latest Premier League competition. And along with talking about these matches, they regularly explain the English phrases and words they use.

Some episodes are focused more on certain skills like speaking, listening, grammar and vocabulary. But in these episodes too, they use conversations about football as examples to explain the topics.

The podcast is in British English as it is produced by the British Council. This is a great listening practice resource for everyone as the conversations are natural and they focus on words and phrases every English speaker uses in his or her daily life. This is also great for learning about words specific to soccer.

English Language Course

learn english spotify

Level: Intermediate to advanced

This short course is a quick summary of English punctuation rules. The style of English used in this course is rather academic and not really suitable for beginners.

This course is best for learners who already have a good knowledge of English vocabulary and speaking but still struggle with grammar. This is also good for learners who are able to speak and listen well but have just started to read and write in English.

The course is a pretty great example of academic or formal English. It is really helpful for all those learners who are learning English to study in an English university. Along with being an introduction to punctuation, this course can also be seen as an introduction to formal English speaking.

The Language Learning Show

learn english spotify

Level: Intermediate to advanced

The Language Learning Show is a more general podcast meant for all language learners. But since the podcast is in English, it is most relevant to English speakers.

It is hosted by Azren, who is a language teacher and speaks five languages. He talks about tips and tricks of learning new languages, as well as the issues and challenges that most learners face.

For instance, in the episode “Why Some People Progress and Others Don’t,” he talks about the mindset required to successfully learn new languages. He also talks about his own life in that episode and what challenges he is facing.

You may want to skip to the middle of the episode since in the beginning he usually talks about his personal life. Intermediate and advanced learners can also listen to this podcast generally since it is quite relatable for all learners.

The Actual Fluency Podcast

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Level: Advanced

Just like the previous podcast, this show talks about language learning in general. Every episode is an interview with a language learning expert. The conversations usually are about the things required to become fluent in a language.

The topics include motivation, techniques, habits, culture, traveling and even psychology! Some episodes also talk about specific countries like Spain and Indonesia and the challenges to learning English in those countries.

Since the episodes are often an hour long, it might be really hard for lower level learners to focus on the content.

The Fluent Show

learn english spotify

Level: Advanced

“The Fluent Show” is hosted by Kerstin Cable and it talks about all the aspects of becoming fluent in several languages.

The show covers a diverse range of topics. You can learn about tools you can use to improve your skills, listen to question and answer sessions, learn how to motivate yourself, discover how culture affects your learning and listen to interviews with language experts.

Since this podcast has more than 90 episodes, learners should think about their aim before listening to the show. If you want to improve your conversation skills it is best to choose the episodes that have interviews. If you want new tools to practice English, listen to an episode that lists out the newest language learning tools. If you want to learn new techniques, scroll through the titles of the episodes and choose one that you think is relevant to you.

This podcast is best for advanced learners since the conversations involve multiple subjects and some learners may find it hard to understand the speakers.

Free Audiobooks on Spotify for English Listening Practice

Kids’ Audiobooks

learn english spotify

Level: Beginner to intermediate

This collection of audiobooks retells the stories of famous animated kids’ movies. It includes the fairy tales of “Cinderella” and “Peter Pan,” the myth of Hercules and new movies like “Monsters, Inc.” and “Finding Nemo.”

This collection is nice for beginner and intermediate learners since most of the audiobooks are pretty short (around 15 minutes long). Most of these movies have been translated into several languages, so you may already be familiar with them. That makes it easier to keep track of what is happening.

For listening practice, learners can pause the audiobook after some sentences and try to repeat what they just heard. Or they can also write down some of the difficult words as a vocabulary building exercise.

Self-improvement Audiobooks

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Level: Intermediate to advanced

Self-improvement books are meant to help you improve your life and overcome difficulties. These books have a long history in English and world literature. Most of the time these books try to make a person independent by building skills that can be used almost everywhere.

In this collection many classic books are included such as “Think and Grow Rich” and “The Art of War.” Each chapter of a book has a separate recording, which makes it ideal for listening practice.

This collection is especially useful for learners who want to go into business or who want to improve their careers.

Horror and Sci-fi Audiobooks

learn english spotify

Level: Advanced

Do you love stories about ghosts and monsters? Or do you prefer tales about the distant future in space and other planets?

This collection has all the stories you can imagine about these strange things. It has stories by the most famous sci-fi and fiction writers such as H.P. Lovecraft, Isaac Asimov, Kurt Vonnegut, George Orwell and others.

For listening practice, learners should listen to the short stories in this collection like “The Quince Tree” or “A Hunger Artist.” Since these stories are some of the most famous ones in the world, you can also discuss them with native English speakers.

Classic Audiobooks

learn english spotify

Level: Advanced

This collection includes the most famous and fondly remembered stories in English. Since reading them requires quite a lot of skill, learners might find it far easier to listen to them instead.

It includes novels like “Dracula,” “Moby Dick,” “The Invisible Man” and “1984.” This collection is for advanced learners since the language of these stories are quite different from today’s English.

 

So the next time you put your headphones on, just remember that you can use them to learn and connect with the world, rather than just detaching yourself from it. The online library of Spotify is large and diverse—do not forget to enjoy it to the fullest.

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