Audio resources to help you hone your English

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Audio resources are great learning tools to strengthen your English language skills. You can listen on the bus or car on your way to work, while relaxing at home, or even while doing household chores. Nowadays, there is a variety of these resources you can use at home or on-the-go. You can go to a website to listen directly or download the podcasts to listen to at a later time. You can also install an app on your mobile phone. Listening to them is a useful and effective way to supplement your lessons. Plus, most of them are free. They will help you get used to hearing how English words are pronounced and help you speak like a native in no time.

English podcasts

Better at English – (for intermediate learners. Available on iTunes or the website). The audio files are on grammar, language learning strategies, and other aspects of English language learning. This will help you get used to the flow and cadence of a normal English conversation. You can download podcasts and pdf files of the transcript if you want to read the dialogue. There is a bonus vocabulary lesson in each podcast.

Business English Pod – (for intermediate learners or for beginners who want a challenge. Available on iTunes or the website). The lessons are on a variety of business situations. Only premium members can download the transcript, quizzes and lessons but there are so many free podcasts that you can listen to online or download.

Voice of America – (for various levels of English proficiency. Available on iTunes or the website). Although this site focuses more on American culture, there are many pieces that are of general interest. You can choose between the Learning English Broadcast, a daily, 30-minute program that features words and language rules while bringing global news and information; and Radio Programs, which is a host of audio materials from narrated short stories to general information on lifestyle and health (access choices through the audio menu at the upper right hand side of the site). Narrations are delivered at a slower pace. Lessons archived on the site may be downloaded. Meanwhile, transcripts of the audio files have a vocabulary lesson at the end. Each highlights certain words and their meanings.

Culips ESL podcast – (for various levels of English proficiency. Available in iTunes , Android or RSS or on the website). If you want to learn conversational English, this site is for you. Choose between Chatterbox Episodes, Catch Word Episodes, Simplified Speech Episodes, and Real Talk Episodes. The podcasts are supplemented by learning materials consisting of transcripts, detailed explanations, and quizzes. However, the learning materials are available only to members (for a fee).

News and current affairs websites

News in Levels – (for various levels of proficiency, audio files can be accessed on the website). Read the latest news written in three levels: elementary, intermediate and advanced. You can read or listen to the articles on the page. A video news version can also be seen on the lower part of the page. The level three version has a vocabulary lesson featuring difficult words in the article. It also has suggested learning activities at the end to improve your reading, listening, writing, and speaking skills.

Breaking News English – (for various levels of proficiency, can be accessed on the website). Features news articles written for various English language levels. For each level, the news is narrated in various speeds. Aside from audio resources, it has a variety of learning activities for spelling, vocabulary, and comprehension.

Lingohack from BBC Learning English – (for intermediate learners, can be accessed on website). Video news and current features are presented as language lessons. Words and phrases are defined, and language exercises are available at the end of each full transcript. All lessons can be downloaded in audio or pdf formats.

Sources: 11 English podcasts every English learner should listen to, Fluent U English Language and Culture Blog, The 8 best audio/video news and current affairs websites to learn English, Blog de Cristina. Accessed May 16, 2017.

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