6 Minute English

6 Minute English


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


Life on the edge  

The increased study of extremophile microbes has revealed a lot about what is and is not needed to sustain life on Earth

What's your superpower?  

Why are we so fascinated with the superheroes that populate our cinema screens and comic books?


Alice and Neil discuss whether we would miss driving as driverless cars are tested in cities around the world

Introvert… and proud!  

What’s your personality type? If you are an introvert you’re in good company; Barak Obama, JK Rowling are introverts...

Why do crazes take off?  

Alice and Neil discuss why some games, hobbies and activities become crazes

When do you feel sleepy?  

Alice and Neil discuss circadian rhythms - that influence our daily cycle of physical, mental and behavioural changes - and what shift workers can do to help


Sophie and Neil discuss why the last pharaoh of Egypt still fascinates people today

Animal phobias  

Why do we fear animals that pose no threat to us? Sophie and Neil discuss the reason why fear of spiders is so common

Women's right to vote  

Alice and Neil talk about British suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst

Why we love trainers  

Call them what you want - trainers, sneakers, tennis shoes - but why does everybody love them so much?

On your bike  

Neil and Sophie discuss the ongoing popularity of bicycles

Hi, meet my online persona!  

Sophie and Neil discuss social networks and why we often use different identities for different social media

How do you read your news?  

Free, digital news is threatening traditional newspapers. Sophie and Neil discuss the pros and cons of news in print

Do opposites attract?  

Why are we attracted to some people and not to others? Sophie and Neil discuss love at first sight

Is loneliness in our genes?  

What is loneliness and why do we feel it? Sophie and Neil discuss how feeling lonely can help us to survive

Who do you think you are?  

How do you see yourself and how do others see you? Alice and Neil discuss identity and how appearances can be deceptive

Does punctuation matter?  

Why is punctuation important? Neil and Alice discuss rhetoric, commas, and why using full stops when we’re texting can make us sound insincere

Penicillin: breaking the mould  

Alice and Neil discuss penicillin, the so-called wonder drug discovered in 1928 by Alexander Fleming

Global warming  

What might the world look like if temperatures keep rising? Neil and Alice discuss the need to adapt to the changes ahead

Old tech  

Did you ever own a Walkman or a record player? Is there still a market for DVD rental stores? Alice and Neil discuss old tech and why the US Pentagon still uses floppy disks

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