Even when you have studied English well it is not always easy to understand the English and American people that speak to you. When talking about listening there is no escape – you need to practice listening with as many tools as possible. The various intonations and variations, from one place to another can be even more complex than our Italian dialects. These sites aren’t enough for you? In this case, you can see a complete list of all of the online English listening resources. Here, instead, are the best free sites for training your ear to English.
Hundreds of English listening items, quizzes and games on this website created by the American Todd Beuckens, who teaches English at a University in Kyushu, Japan. The speakers are often from different countries, this way it is possible to listen to more accents, a better method for practicing.
Enjoyable podcasts in English with accompanying text, many all new terms used for listening or download. The readings are from the same person, a native British person with a clear comprehensible accent. On the site everything is completely free and suitable for someone who speaks pre-intermediate to intermediate English, Listen to English was created by Peter Carter, a retired public official, to find out more about him and his story read this interview.
The themes are various and the emphasis is on the history of the BBC. If you have 6 minutes to dedicate to your English download and listen directly to these episodes, each one has its own PDF to download with important terms to remember.
SpeakUp is a monthly magazine in English (available online and at news-stands) for Italians that truly want to better their English. A subscription of 12 editions costs 50 Euros, but what many people don’t know is that there are many, many pieces of audio (with accompanying text) in the Open Content section. With over 6 years of interesting articles and audio they touch on various themes such as travel culture, literature and music. All of the levels are classified as basic in comprehension difficulty.
Education First – EF, the leader in foreign language courses, together with Englishtown have produced helpful educational content for adults that want to learn the English language. One fun set of more than 60 videos in English is available on Youtube, in the videos are re-creations in English of real and usual moments, which you might chance upon. The well-made movie clips, are further divided into 6 levels of difficulty (from beginner to high intermediate). A method to use these videos is to watch and listen to them a couple of times.
PodcastsinEnglish.com claims to offer “natural conversation” and “true English’. All the podcasts and videos are accessible free, while the premium users, receive files for exercises and transcriptions. Beyond the three levels of English there is also a Business English section, with a total of 302 podcasts, 57 videos and 18 multimedia activities concentrated on pronunciation. Furthermore it is possible to learn much of the English language by means of free material or eventually buy a Premium package for 3 months (19 Euros). The site was created and is actually managed by Jackie McAvoy and Richard Cain, two English teachers that met each other while working in Vietnam.
Students of English know very well that Youtube is an excellent resource for keeping themselves up-to-date with vocabulary and enhancing their listening and understanding capacity. The problem is that without a teacher it is not possible to verify progress. ESL Video is an optimum site that enables one to do exactly this. Hundreds of videos from Youtube are organized into 4 levels of difficulty (from beginner to high intermediate) and accompanied by a small quiz. Entertaining is the option to personally create quizzes to introduce to other users. With more than 1000 videos, ESL is an incredible resource for bettering understanding by means of listening.
A daily podcast created directly by ESL Pod Team, will help, those who speak English at an intermediate level, high-intermediate level, and to truly improve ones listening capacity. All of the podcasts are presented by the same teachers of American English, with style and accent very similar among them. Various content and topics of these podcasts which are free, are available via iTunes, collections of podcasts and Google Reader, it is necessary to have a Premium subscription to receive extra transcriptions and worksheet files. Furthermore, Premium users will have access to complete transcriptions, definitions, examples, comprehension exercises and cultural explanations. A lot of information regarding the different package is available on the ESL Pod site.