Listening comprehension practice


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The following websites have been selected for their good language learning quality.

They can be used both by students who want to do examination practice on their own or for teachers to use the podcasts or videos in their lessons.

The webs in this classification belong to any of the following categories:

(1) News services
(2) Language Laboratories
(3) Teachers’ webs
(4) Organisations, both private or public
(5) Individuals

News services (1)

  • BBC World Service: Listenings and video with tapescripts, quizzes and vocabulary exercises.
  • BBC Video Nation: Videos of different British people speaking. Includes comprehension tests.
  • BBC Learning English – Beyond the Postcard: Watch the videos and answer the questions.
  • CNNHYPERLINK “http://edition.cnn.com/video/” video and podcast offer news reports and interviews on video and podcasts.
  • English Bites Australian news clips with transcripts, vocabulary help and multiple choice quizzes.
    “English Bites is an informative and entertaining way to improve your knowledge of the English language. Featuring a new story each weekday English Bites provides a detailed review of language, terms and usage.”
  • Literacy Net – CNN Story Archives – Each module includes the full text of each story and interactive activities to test comprehension. Your can choose to read the text, listen to the text, and view a short video clip of the story.
  • Euronews is the site of the Euronews TV service where you can see the news online. This site is very useful because you get also the script of the news you are watching, so you can listen to the news and read them at the same time.

Language Laboratories (2)

  • Learning English with the CBC (Radio Canada) Web pages with listening podcasts intended for those who do not have access to formal learning facilities or who wish to improve their language skills on their own or at home.
  • ELLLO: English Language Listening Lab Online. Listen to English speakers from all over the world. Over 400 listening activities that include quizzes and texts. New listenings every day.
  • Efl/ESL English On line resources A websiet developed at the “Centre de linguistique appliquée de l’Universite de Franche-Comptée” with the following listening resources:

Beginners Dictations:19 exercises with illustrations. A mini course for real beginners
Real English Video Dictations Real people interviewed in the street. EFL / ESL Listening Exercises Created with Hot Potatoes
Elementary to intermediate levels
Here, There and Everywhere : 21 stories for learners of English. Text Reconstruction / Dictation exercises. False beginner to advanced levels
TV Commercials: Ads from the 60s. Find the difference exercises. Intermediate level
Fairy Stories: Text Reconstruction / Dictation exercises. Intermediate level
Telephone Expressions Dictation: Intermediate level
Movie Trailers: Text Reconstruction / Dictation exercises. Advanced level

  • AnglesOnline: Check songs and trailers . Fun for kids to learn grammar and enjoy songs, video is very good with clear sound and perfect English for NNS.
  • PhrasalVerbDemon.com: A site for phrasal verbs which has many listenings with tapescripts and exercises that focus on phrasal verbs.

Teachers (3)

  • Dy-Tech Hot Potatoes quizzes based on movie clips:

Some suggested activities:

Patch Adams
Butch & Sundance
The Postman
Field of Dreams – Voices
Stepmom – Serious
The Shawshank Redemption -Life
School of Rock
The Return of the King -Mordor
Lord of the Rings – Middle Earth
Gone with the Wind – No Lady
Jersey Girl
I am Sam – In the “best” interest

  • Sub beta is a site with short video podcasts which can be seen with or without subtitles. Go to the languages section.
  • Arlyn Freed’s ESL/EFL Listening Resources with reviews of web sites (audio and video)
  • Randall’s ESL Cyber Listening Lab
  • Randall’s Basic Self-Study Guide
  • Free Classic Audio Books Digital Narration for the 21st Century. Whole books are also available on the internet for those who love to read along as they listen, or to download to an iPod or other device. It offers a selection of complete books whose copyrights have expired, including Heidi, Tom Sawyer, The Secret Garden, Emma, and several volumes of classic short stories.
  • VOA News have good news stories for listening with accompanying language learning apparatus .VOA has many articles of general interest in “Special English, ” which is slower and with a limited vocabulary and grammar, so it is very good for beginning adult learning.
  • English-Trailers.Com You can watch movie trailers and do exercises on them. Scripts available.
  • Cyber Listening Lab. The OWL project Nuria Casas has written a few interactive and multiple choice listening exercises for the EOI students.
  • Interesting Things for ESL Students: Listening, and their Podcasts. The front page (also called “Many Things”) has links to additional exercises based on VOA audio.
  • Kevin McCaughey’s English Teachers Everywhere If you like Kevin’s site, please drop him an email and let him know!
  • ESL Pod CardsThere you can find information listenings about famous cities or famous people with their biographies as well as the transcripts, duration of the listening piece and worksheets to work with them.
  • English as Second Language podcast
    ESLPod.com is run by a team of experienced English as a Second Language professors with over 30 years of high school, adult, and university ESL teaching experience. Dr. Lucy Tse writes scripts and story ideas for the podcasts, and records many of the dialogs and stories. The host for the podcast is Dr. Jeff McQuillan, who helps read the scripts and provides explanations for them.
  • More than just words. This particular link is a particularly interesting one and its authors mentioned that it was completely free and they wanted as many students to use it as possible as they are collecting research data through it.
  • Storynory Free Audio Stories It’s a wonderful collection of children’s stories, called Storynory:
  • Open Culture offers podcasts in many different languages and at different levels, and I guess it will be useful for those who teach languages other than English too. I tried some recordings in French and they were very interesting.
  • This I Believe offers audio and the script. I hope you like it.

Organisations (4)

  • Poets.org the site where American poets read their own poetry.
  • Listen to English. Here you’ll find most varieties of English on different topics.
  • At Watch and Listen you can watch BBC shows that come with a tapescript and a note on vocabulary.
  • At MP3 Downloading and Podcasting the BBC gives full details of the podcasts it is making available and how to download them or to subscribe to the recordings as podcasts. Most of these recordings are only available for up to a month after the date of broadcasting. The page also gives a brief description of the contents of each series. For advanced work (and personal enjoyment) I find most of these broadcasts excellent. They are not teaching materials, certainly not language teaching materials – they are about politics and the arts and life around the globe. But as listening material they are hard to better. You can listen to them on your PC or on an MP3 player
  • OM audio: Free Online Conversations
  • At Agenda web they have classified exercises by matter and language level. They all belong to other sites. The good thing about this site is that they have classified it for fast choice and delivery.
  • Yapper:HYPERLINK “http://en.yappr.com/welcome/Welcome.action” The premier community for English learners where you can Watch Fun Videos Meet People Improve Your English Contribute Contributing to the yappr.com community is an excellent way to improve the site for everyone while practicing your English. You can already edit translations; very soon you will be able to post, transcribe and translate videos yourself. Just click on a video to get started.
  • www.eflvideos.com is part of the Better@English group of English language learning websites. This company collects the best ESL, EFL, and ELT videos to help you learn English. The videos are organised by language levels.Not classified yet

 New suggestions

  • VideoJug- Life explained on film: Lots of videos on any kind of topic. Good pace. You can see the script clicking on the little square under the screen. It is worth playing aroud and stick to them.
  • TED (Ideas worth spreading): Talks and videos in original version. Some of them come with a script. They are worth seeing.

See these examples:

How to concentrate

How to develop a super memory

Listening practice: document Sites for listening

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