6 Minute English

BBC Radio


Learn and practise useful English language for everyday situations with the BBC. A weekly instruction manual for saying or doing something in English is published every Thursday.

Available on


127 episodes

How pandemics end

Covid-19, The Black Death ... We discuss what happens when deadly diseases go global.

Aug 04
Confused by modern idioms?

We talk about some new expressions that have been introduced to English through the media

Jul 28
Which are more dangerous: Sharks or humans?

From monster killers of the sea to endangered species - we talk sharks and vocabulary.

Jul 21
Climate change and evolution

We discuss the impact of climate change on today's wildlife.

Jul 14
Preserving traditional recipes

We discuss the tastes of our childhood and teach new vocabulary.

Jul 07
Restoring trust in science

Modern scientists are under pressure from critics motivated by political views.

Jun 30
The Manhattan Project

Learn about the invention of the atomic bomb

Jun 23
Island life: Is it paradise?

Rob and Sam discuss some of the problems Pacific islanders face and teach vocabulary.

Jun 16
The technology of translation

What is the relationship between translation, technology and the human brain?

Jun 09
What is the Platinum Jubilee?

We talk about a very British tradition involving Queen Elizabeth II

Jun 01
People who can taste words

Can you imagine being able to ‘taste’ every word that you hear?

May 26
Finding your way in space

What’s up and what’s down for astronauts who are floating in zero gravity?

May 20
Can VR treat fears and phobias?

VR is helping people overcome phobias and even tackling more serious problems.

May 12
Life in the modern office

Great or awful? How do people rate office working? We talk about it and teach vocabulary.

May 05
Remembering Desmond Tutu

Deep convictions and a sense of humour - we talk about a man who helped end apartheid.

Apr 28
Discoveries of the Deep Sea

We talk about an extreme environment, and teach you vocabulary along the way.

Apr 21
Rhetoric: How persuasive are you?

We talk about an art that started with ancient Greek philosophers

Apr 14
Britain's love affair with coffee

It's not all about tea - Britons like coffee too. Learn vocabulary to talk about it.

Apr 07
Optimists vs Pessimists

Which one you are may be linked more to your birthplace and age than attitude.

Mar 31
The world of Agatha Christie

We discuss one of her most famous characters and teach you related vocabulary.

Mar 25
Mars: Mysteries of the Red Planet

Neil and Sam discuss our fascination with the 'Red Planet' and teach you related vocab.

Mar 17
Why laughter is the best medicine

Shouldn't we take laughter more seriously? We discuss and teach related vocabulary.

Mar 10
Is being kind good for you?

Neil and Sam discuss the benefits of kindness and teach you related vocabulary.

Mar 03
Eating bugs

Neil and Sam discuss eating insects and teach you related vocabulary.

Feb 24
The benefits of boredom

We talk about the positive side of boredom and teach you related vocabulary.

Feb 17
Do our pets care about us?

We love and care for our pets. But do they care about us in return? Neil and Sam discuss.

Feb 10
Sleepy in South Korea

Life in a place where people work longer hours and get less sleep than anywhere else.

Feb 09
Sleepy in South Korea

Life in a place where people work longer hours and get less sleep than anywhere else.

Feb 03
Preparing for the Beijing Winter Olympics

Artificial snow, coronavirus and controversy surround the Beijing Games starting soon.

Jan 27
Are personalised diets the best way to be healthy?

We discuss how microbes matter when it comes to food, and teach some related vocabulary.

Jan 20