Audio and podcasts are a great way to learn Vietnamese as you don’t have to be sat at a desk or a computer to learn. Unlike video you can listen in the car, while out for a walk or when doing tasks around the home.
I’m a big fan of podcasts for language learners. Podcasts have been one of the main materials I used to learn Russian. I wish there had been more podcasts around when I started learning Vietnamese a decade ago!
In this post, we’re going to discuss the benefits of podcasts and some ways to use audio to learn Vietnamese.
What are the benefits of learning Vietnamese through audio?
There are a number of benefits to learning Vietnamese through audio, and in particular, podcasts.
- Podcasts are informative. The hosts will often discuss topics related to Vietnamese culture, history and modern life in Vietnam. This is a great way to learn about the language and the country.
- Podcasts are easy to listen to on the go or at home while you cook or do housework. All you need is a phone and an internet connection (or download an episode to listen to offline).
- Vietnamese learning podcasts are great to learn or brush up on vocabulary or grammar. Many podcasts are designed for beginner and intermediate learners of the language. This makes them understandable.
- Podcast episodes are short and the material is easy to follow. They’re conversations or a monologue on a particular topic or theme.
- Podcasts are affordable. Some are free, and learner podcasts tend to have low cost monthly subscriptions.
How do you choose the right Vietnamese audio to listen to?
There are a couple of things that you need to consider when choosing Vietnamese podcasts to listen to. These include:
1. The level of difficulty of the audio
If you’re listening for pleasure you’ll want the content to be easy and enjoyable. If you’re looking for learning materials, you’ll want to choose something for your level.
2. The format and type of content on the podcast
With learning podcasts, you tend to hear a conversation between two people in Vietnamese followed by some explanations of the vocabulary and grammar used in the conversation. These can be in Vietnamese or in English. At a lower level, it might be helpful to hear some English. As your level improves, you’ll probably prefer your podcasts to be 100% in Vietnamese.
3. The accents of the speakers
As with all Vietnamese materials, you may have a preference for a Northern or Southern accent and vocabulary.
3 Vietnamese podcasts
Vietnamese podcasts for learners
1. VietnamesePod101 (multiple levels) (Northern)
The longest-established Vietnamese podcast for learners.
Podcasts are grouped in themes and functions. The lessons are well-organized and easy to follow. There is also plenty of helpful content included in each episode so you can practice your skills on a real-world context.
You can start with a completely free 7 day trial. After that there’s a monthly subscription, starting from $1, which gives you access to podcasts on a range of topics and from beginner to high intermediate.
There are extra features like flashcards or, if you choose Premium Plus, support from a tutor. The company also make podcasts in other languages.
2. Your Vietnamese Tutor (Elementary/Low Intermediate) (Northern)
3. Learn Vietnamese with Annie (multiple levels) (Southern)
You probably already know about Learn Vietnamese with Annie from Youtube.
How can I use audio and podcasts to learn Vietnamese?
Here are some ways to use audio and podcasts to learn Vietnamese:
1. Use Vietnamese audio to practice listening.
Listen with a purpose. When listening to any type of audio content – including Vietnamese podcasts – it’s important to have a purpose in mind. This means that you should try not only listen actively but also take notes or make flashcards while listening so that you can review the material later on in more detail.
You can use active listening techniques link transcribing to improve your listening ability.
2. Use Vietnamese audio to practice pronunciation and fluency.
You can practice your pronunciation by repeating lines from the dialogue. You can pause and repeat after the speaker to work on pronunciation.
For fluency, you can use the transcript and read it out at the same time as the speaker.
3. Use Vietnamese audio to learn vocabulary and grammar.
Vietnamese audio and many podcasts are designed for learners of the language, with a good balance of vocabulary you already know and new vocabulary and structures. Jot down and learn new words and phrases from the podcast to enrich your vocabulary. Other episodes may focus on a particular grammar structure.
These podcasts can be used as bitesize lessons.
4. Use a Vietnamese podcast to supplement your textbook.
One option is to look for podcasts on the same topic as you’ve been studying. This can provide you with extra listening practice as well as extra vocabulary on the topic.
Once you have a good foundation in the language, you can then start listening to Vietnamese podcast episodes that focus on specific topics or vocabulary items that interest you. Published materials can cover a narrow range of themes. The beauty of extra materials like podcasts is the wide range of topics available. You can pick and choose episodes that you’re interested in.
How can I use Vietnamese audio and podcasts to practice my conversation skills?
One of the great things about Vietnamese language podcasts is that they are usually based on a dialogue. They are full of common question and answers. You can use this useful language to prepare your own responses and then practice with a language partner or teacher. Tell them the topic of the podcast episode you listened to and ask them to discuss the topic with you
Podcasts are a great way to supplement your Vietnamese learning. In this post, we’ve covered the benefits of using podcasts to learn Vietnamese, as well as how to choose the right Vietnamese podcasts to listen to and how to listen to them. By exploring these podcasts, not only will you be learning interesting vocabulary but also gaining an understanding of the cultural context surrounding Vietnam.