How would you study a 30-minute podcast?

How would you study a 30-minute podcast?


  1. Import it into LingQ.
  2. Quickly assess whether or not it’s worth my time by looking at the number and percent of unknown words and what the nature of the unknown words were to determine if I could work my way through it and if I might like the content.
  3. If on the easier side (< 5% new words?), I’d simply listen to it and try understand through context. Then, I’d go into LingQ and read it, usually in the Sentence View so I can easily translate more complex grammar structures and unfamiliar idioms. I’d also add the new vocab to known and unknown lists in LingQ.

For content more “at” my level (maybe 5% to maybe 9% new words?), I’d go through the reading exercise first trying to bump up contextual comprehension first before listening to it.

For content that’s more of a stretch (maybe 10% to 14% new words?), I might just read it instead of listening to it.

If I like it, months later I might return to it.

That’s how I think of how I “listen” to and “read” a second-language podcast. I don’t really think of it as “studying.”


I listen and read 1 time. then move on to the next.

After listening and fully understanding the podcast, I would also recommend to try and explain the podcast with your own words, that way you’ll remember it more.

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Currently in Ukrainian when I study a large video longer than 30 minutes, It contains tipically 45-50 % new words. In that situation, I’m focussing on looking for words which meaning I can guess or which are another form of something I already know. I did this while being ill. It does not require much brain power. You still get some global understanding of what is going on. Sometime I may look for a new word which has triggered my interest as I have seen it often. Or when there is sentence I’d like to understand better. After that first pass, number of new words is reduce by 3-4 %.


It depends on your level in the language.

If you are a beginner, it may look more like:

  1. Use Sentence Mode to read the text, marking lingQs and looking at the sentence translations if you have issues
  2. Re-read while listening in page view the same day x2
  3. Re-listen while doing chores/commuting over the coming weeks/months x5 or x15

As an upper intermediate/lower advanced, what I actually do these days is one of these two things:

a. Listen to a podcast I’ve never heard before with the goal of practising my listening comprehension
b. Read the transcript while listening on LingQ to a podcast that I’ve never studied before (pausing to lingQ New Words) with the goal of vocabulary acquitisition

The podcasts I use to practise my listening comprehension and the podcasts I use to focus on vocabulary acquisition have different criteria - one is challenging in the accents/listening comprehension area, while the other in the vocabulary area. This means that generally they are not the same podcast.

These days, I never restudy content, because it kinda bores me. Ideally, my process would involve a relisten or restudy of the material, which I’ll probably start doing a bit more of soon. For a podcast, generally, at my level, one relisten may suffice for my goal. The added benefit of rereading content (while listening) on LingQ is you don’t have to do the time-consuming task of selecting and writing definitions (which is a large waste of time). In practice, rereading while listening is around 3x faster for me to do. On the first run through, it would take me ~80 minutes to study a 30 minute episode (~55 wpm), but the re-study would take only me ~25 minutes (~170 wpm).

The main difference in if and how much re-study you do depends on the number of New Words and level of understanding you have of the podcast. If there are a minimal number of New Words and a very high understanding, there’s no need to restudy. But if there are many New Words and lots of unfamiliar grammar, restudy is the way to go.

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