Practice Listening in English with These Apps and Tools

When it comes to learning English, you must spend time developing your listening skills. You simply cannot learn English without learning how to listen to it. Listening is essential for communication in every language.

However, it is especially important when it comes to learning a foreign language. This is because it is through listening that you develop your vocabulary and learn how to pronounce words correctly. As you have probably already discovered, many English words are not pronounced how they look. Therefore, listening to a native speaker can make all the difference when it comes to mastering the language.

Fortunately, there are many apps and tools that focus specifically on helping you learn English through listening. And, yet, it is important to remind readers that these are only meant to be supplemental. Apps and online websites can never replace the superior education you can receive at a Washington language school, such as inlingua. Students who choose to study English in Washington DC will be immersed in the culture and listening to locals speak English daily.

Additionally, those students attending language schools in DC will also be preparing to take the IELTS test at an English test center. This English test includes a listening section. Therefore, it is helpful to look for additional ways to improve one’s English listening skills.

To help you get started, here is a list of some of the best online resources and apps for listening in English.


Busuu is a language learning app with English courses that teach speaking, writing, listening, grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary. Part of what makes Busuu stand out is that you can work on your listening comprehension by listening to English in various dialects. Additionally, it includes features that allow listeners to pause, rewind, and listen on repeat to master pronunciation.

Elllo is a free English listening library online. It includes over 2500 English language audio and video clips are broken down into simple lessons. Also, the website provides study plans and worksheets.

English Listening and Speaking

Focusing on conversational English and daily speech, the English Listening and Speaking android app is a great choice for those wanting to learn how to communicate in English. For example, the app includes thousands of English conversations with audio and transcripts. Additionally, the app includes games and tests to help you become fluent quicker. Plus, the app is free!

This is a website that is specifically designed for ESL teachers and students. It includes over 500 passages at different levels. In addition to the various levels, passages can be filtered by accent. The listening passages also include a summary, transcript, and a test. Individual monthly subscriptions begin at $5.00.

English Listening Practice – World Talks

This Apple (IOS) product app is focused on teaching English through listening. With over 1100 interviews, listeners also have the option of listening to mixer lessons. These mixer lessons allow the listener to hear six different people respond to the same question, which lets the listener hear various dialects. Plus, it has comprehension quizzes to test what you have retained.

LearnEnglish Podcasts

The LearnEnglish Podcast is an app produced by the British Council. With interesting and engaging interviews with people talking about real-life things (celebrities, food, and more), the twenty hours of free podcasts will be ones that you will look forward to listening to and learning from. Additionally, the audio comes with a moving script and comprehension questions for each episode.

Learn to Speak English

The Learn to Speak English app is a popular one for building your English skills. In addition to 900 lessons, as well as 8000 audio files. By listening to native English speakers, you will learn to speak English. On top of the giant library of audio files, there is also a recording tool for users to record their own words to hear their own pronunciation.

Listen Pal

Designed to help English learners through entertaining subtitled videos, the Listen Pal app allows Apple users to watch popular internet videos and read subtitles while listening. The app utilizes YouTube and its popular channels, such as TED, Mental Floss, Yoga with Adriene, Crash Course, and more.

Speak English Fluently

The Speak English Fluently app is designed to help users learn how to speak English conversationally in an American accent. In addition to audio of conversations and common sayings, there is also a recording tool for users to record themselves and listen back to their pronunciation.


For a completely different learning experience, there is the Tandem language learning exchange community. In this community, you are paired with a native speaker to practice listening and speaking to English. Users can choose to communicate with their language partner through text, audio, or video. However, we recommend audio or video to develop your English language skills over texting.

Other Ways to Improve Your English Listening Skills

Ultimately, the best way to develop your English listening skills is to spend time listening to others speak English. Again, this is why language schools in places like DC work exceptionally well. Students will be surrounded by native speakers and encouraged to listen in English. For instance, students at the Washington language institute, inlingua, spend most of their class time listening and speaking English rather than translating English in a textbook. The difference is huge!

Additionally, look for ways to listen to the things you already enjoy. For instance, if you love music, find English music radio stations and tune in to them regularly. If you are a sports fan, search for English speaking sports commentators on television. If you enjoy movies and television, make a point to watch them in English. Every little bit helps. Over time, you will strengthen your listening skills.

For some, it is simply hard to listen – even in your native language! When it comes down to it, listening is an essential part of communication; you cannot communicate with others effectively if you do not listen to them.

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