Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Do you listen to podcasts and shows that are made only for English learners?

Do you ever try to use videos or podcasts that are made for native speakers of English?

We’re going to talk about which type works best and will help to push you to the next level.

We have a question from a listener about this that really highlights this issue.

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Hi ladies,

What have you been up to? Taking advantage of this moment, I’d like to ask advice from you. Is it better to learn from videos that teach English or that talk about other subjects? Or is it better to use both? I’m wondering if it would be helpful to just listen to videos that are in English to try to pick up the language.

I’m afraid to make mistakes and I really want to learn English the right way. How can I learn the most effectively? What can help me the most?

Thank you very much!

Figuring Out The Best Approach

Should you be learning English through videos or apps focused specifically on mastering the language?

Is it better to learn English through something that is focused on other topics instead and is created for natives?

If you are learning a new language in class, then immersion is a great method.

You learn other subjects through the language, and this can work well especially for kids.

When it comes to learning a new language, you have to consider your starting point.

If you are new to this or at a beginner level, then be sure to start smaller and use videos that are made for English learners and will show you the basics.

Then, as you get better, keep taking it up a bit and focus on comprehension–and try to get out of your comfort zone as much as possible.

Consider Your Level

You have to know your level and how to best mix the two.

If you are a beginner or at the early stages, then you may wish to use videos that focus on the language specifically.

The material has to be “comprehensible plus one”–you want to learn new things but also be challenged.

If you are intermediate or lower, then you may need to be learning the vocabulary first before context.

Find the sweet spot for picking up the vocabulary and the language early on.

As you approach intermediate and above, then you want to use a podcast such as this.

Go for a mixture of conversation and various topics, but also reinforce the language too.

You always need to search for the sweet spot so that you can master, reinforce, but also challenge yourself too.

You Must Challenge Yourself At A Certain Level

When you reach a certain level, it’s all about challenging yourself.

Always remember “plus one” because that focuses on learning about 80% of comprehension.

The remainder is to focus on 20% that is going to challenge you and keep you going with continuing to improve.

You never want to get too comfortable, and this happens only if you are challenging yourself and pushing harder.

If you reach that more intermediate level and above, then you have to listen to what natives do.

This helps to immerse you into the local language and culture, and it allows you to speak it and understand it with more confidence.

Continue With The Process

The only way to get better is to challenge yourself.

Know where to start based upon your level, and then focus on the vocabulary first.

Then as you advance start to consider listening to videos that push you to the next level, this is how you will advance.

Listen to the things that the natives listen to for this will really help to immerse you.

Know that challenging yourself and getting out of your comfort zone will help you to progress.


When learning English or any new language, you have to consider your starting level.

Early on in the beginner stage, you have to start slower with listening to things that focus on vocabulary and that are made for learners.

Then you want to challenge yourself and go for comprehension with materials that are made for natives.

Remember the rule of “comprehension plus one” for that means that you can understand about 80% and the other 20% is all about challenging yourself a bit.

This will help you to focus on the right things and to continue to improve and progress in English.

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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