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.



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


Neil and Alice discuss the differences between slang, jargon, and swearing, while teaching you some Cockney Rhyming Slang

Domestic chores  

Do women clean the house more often than men? Alice and Neil discuss the topic and teach you a tidy amount of vocabulary

Have you walked off your pizza?  

Is food labelling clear enough to help us make healthy choices? Alice and Neil discuss chocolate chip muffins along with some other tasty vocabulary

How to cure writer's block  

Who were the Muses and how did they help the creative process? Neil and Alice discuss how to be more creative

Is English changing?  

Will we still be speaking in an English we recognize in a thousand years' time? Alice and Neil make some educated guesses!

Heritage sites  

Neil and Alice discuss the threat to The Great Barrier Reef, the Grand Canyon, and the Inca city of Machu Picchu in Peru

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