Many students say that they want to become better English speakers, or they want to practice their speaking. The first thing to remember is that being a better speaker first starts with being a better listener. So here are some fast and easy ways to increase your listening skills daily. Try to pick out common words and phrases used in these podcasts. Then start using them in your daily conversations. You have to listen with a purpose to learn, and these podcasts can help you do that each day.
Newsy features short news segments across a variety of topics from business to entertainment, international to US news. One of the best things about Newsy is that each video is posted with a transcript of the news report, giving you the choice of just listening, or listening and reading. It’s a great site for students who need something a bit more challenging. The added bonus? The site offers an app for iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry – perfect for students on the go!
Voice of America is a multimedia platform that delivers news to English learners across the globe. Each video is less than three minutes long and comes with subtitles. They may be downloaded in video format or as MP3 files you can listen to anywhere. VOA also has a handy little app for iPhone and Android, a Mobile Wordbook that teaches students how to say and use a word in a sentence.
Talk English has listening lessons for all levels of students. Students have the possibility to listen to a conversation, complete a multiple choice quiz and read a script of the audio. Teachers and students can use the website online free of charge or pay a small one-time fee for unlimited downloads – and I mean hundreds of dialogues in different levels. Additionally, there is an app for iPhone and Android.
ESL Fast offers 365 short stories with audio and text for intermediate students. The best thing about this site is the sheer number of stories available. At the bottom of the page, you’ll see a vocabulary list for each listening plus a variety of exercises, including dictations. The site also offers easy conversations for beginners who have the unique opportunity to listen to short conversations on a variety of topics and speak to Mike, a “robot” that replies to questions and statements you type in a dialogue box, thus creating an actual, virtual “dialogue”.
Elllo provides a wealth of listening exercises in video or audio format. You can sort search results by level, topic, country or media; the last option allows you choose from games, audio or video. All of the exercises come with vocabulary lists, additional exercises or quizzes, as well as download links. Unlike the other websites, this one includes audio with English speakers of different countries, thus effectively exposing you to a variety of English accents like Australian, Scottish, South African, and others.
I hope these help you. If you want to practice your speaking after listening to these podcasts, sign up for a lesson. Happy learning!