Academic Tips: How to improve your English listening

How to improve your English listening

There are many ways to improve your listening skills. Try some or all of these, and see how much it helps.

How to improve your English listening

Films, series, YouTube

Watching films, series on Netflix/Disney/Amazon etc, or videos on YouTube can really help improve your listening. It is important to find something that you like. Watch what you like without subtitles for an extra challenge.

I recommend YouTube. There are channels on YouTube for everything. One of my favourites is Cinema Therapy, for example, which looks at films and talks about the psychology behind them. The hosts are American, their accents are quite neutral and easy to understand, and the content is fun and interesting.


Listening to local radio will help you get used to the Irish accent. This is the hardest thing to do on this list, but radio DJs have to speak clearly, so maybe you’ll find them interesting.

Some of our most popular stations include:

  • FM104
  • Today FM
  • Radio Nova
  • Newstalk
  • Q102

Listen to locals

Turn off your music, and listen to local people. Eavesdropping might be rude, but people don’t have to know you’re doing it. Listening to how local people talk will help you with accents and expressions. Don’t be afraid to ask your teacher what something means afterwards if you don’t know.

Language Exchange

Speaking and listening go together. Join a language exchange group, and have conversations. Practise, practise, practise. Be part of our Conversation Corner!


Last on the list, but my number 1 recommendation. Podcasts are a great tool, and you can slow the speed/tempo when listening of you think the hosts are speaking too quickly. Don’t go below X0.7, though, or they will start to sound like robots. Below is a list of Irish podcasts to help you get used to how we talk. They cover a range of topics and subjects.

Find one you like, or search for another.

The Witness: In His Own Words

The Mike Quirk Podcast

My Therapist Ghosted Me


Changes with Annie Macmanus

In Your Nature

We Are The Makers

Bad Bridget

The Substantial Meal

The Irish Passport


Mot & Dave

The Tommy, Hector and Laurita Podcast

Stall It with Darren and Joe

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