Language Podcasts

I am a little late to podcasts. I am usually very current on technology and the web, but for whatever reason, I’ve wavered on podcasts (including getting students to make them, which sounds like a swell idea). Many of my friends have talked enthusiastically about podcasts, particularly “This American Life”. However, aside from specific podcasts dedicated to learning a specific language (i.e., I have never really indulged until recently.

About two weeks ago, I got the sudden idea to look for linguistics-based podcasts. I downloaded Pocast Addict and begun my search, I came across a number of interesting podcasts, including “Talk the Talk“, “The World in Words“, “That’s What They Say“, and “Lexicon Valley“. They are all great, but the one I am enjoying the most is “Talk the Talk”.

“Talk the Talk” has very engaging topics, lively banter, and excellent guests. “Talk the Talk” is hosted in Australia by Aussie Ben Ainslie and American Daniel Midgley, who teaches applied linguistics at several universities in Australia. Linguistics may not be the most energizing subject to listen to on a Monday morning drive, but “Talk the Talk” is very entertaining and engaging. My favorite episodes so far have been a recent one about the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, where they interviewed linguist John McWhorter, who sort of tore the hypothesis and its supporters a new one; I also enjoyed an episode about the endangered Australian language Kalyakoorl and a musician’s attempt to keep it alive.

Whether you have a passing interest in language or are a professional linguist, I think you’ll find “Talk the Talk” to be worthwhile. Runner up is “The World in Words,” hosted by Patrick Cox, which is another fascinating language podcast with very interesting topics.

What I’d like to see now is a TESOL podcast that is as rambunctious and thought-provoking as the TESOL Twitter PLN. I think a podcast that discusses activities, methods, grades, dogme (conversation-driven learning), edtech, reflection, etc. would be a worthwhile endeavor for anyone with the time and passion. Or, are there already such podcasts that I have somehow missed? What podcasts do you listen to? Please give me some suggestions in the comments!

Update: Check out this review of five TEFL podcasts:

4 thoughts on “Language Podcasts

  1. David Harbinson says:

    Hi Anthony, thanks for the linguistics podcasts suggestions. I’ll check some of them out.

    I have looked for TESOL podcasts in the past, but haven’t come across anything, so I too would be interested if anyone knows of any.

  2. Hi Anthony and David,
    I love podcasts and have written a guide to introduce them to students at It includes some of my favourites. The BBC’s Word of Mouth is a language-based one which I particularly like. I also enjoy The History of English podcast, which is a very in-depth analysis of the language, going right back to proto-Indo-European.
    As for TESOL podcasts, there’s one created by the ELTchat team which you might find interesting: James Taylor (@theteacherjames) is always looking for contributers if you have ideas for it.

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