An interesting discussion took place on the LinkedIn group ESL Teacher Professionals last month relating to a question asked by teacher Renee in New York regarding ways English language learners could improve their listening skills beyond such usual recommendations as films, radio, and YouTube. Comments from around the world focused on free Web sites. I've had a chance to go through those sites myself now and wanted to share the best with you:
- Listen and Write and English Central allow students to choose their level. (Suggested by English language consultant Corrianne Lasevicius in Brazil).
- For intermediate students and above, Andreas Martin recommends his own podcasts on the AudioBoo blog "What's So Funny," which focus on explanations of short jokes.
- Brazilian professor and entrepreneur Luca Merlini likes Ted.com, which has videos of talks at its conferences on "Ideas Worth Spreading." Merlini describes these as very interesting and notes that most have subtitles.
- Voice of America has scripts of all their broadcasts, which are also spoken more slowly than on most other sites. (Suggested by professor Irina Matveeva in the Russian Federation.)
- For lower level learners, Randall's ESL Cyberlistening Lab is recommended by test prep instructor Evan Simpson, currently based in China.
- Dace Praulins, an ESOL instructor in Glasgow, recently discovered language listening library Ello.com
Hope this is helpful to you. While you're here, check out our TOEIC site as well. There's new info on our TOEIC Test Central page.
—Lia Nigro, TOEIC USA