submitted by the U.S. State Department’s Office of English Language Programs
VOA Learning English (many might recognize it as Special English) is a site that provides engaging and interesting content based on news and information. Special English is “special” because stories are read at a slower rate of speech than regular VOA English programs. Also, the stories are written at the intermediate and upper-beginner level, and in some cases at lower levels. The content changes regularly. There is something for everyone of all ages and fields of interest, whether learning or teaching English. Additionally, users can access content on foreign policy issues to review, discuss, or debate.
The site provides text and audio (MP3 files) so learners can read and listen to the stories to maximize learning. The social media support is wide-ranging: VOA Learning English has a Facebook page, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, and a YouTube channel. Short, captioned videos allow learners to watch and hear a report while reading the rolling script. The main site has a built-in dictionary (click on any word in any story), a WordBook app for iPhone and Android, podcasts, RSS feeds, and much more.
For lovers of slang and vocabulary, and cultural meanings in an American context, there is the weekly program Words and Their Stories. Those who are interested in American English and linguistics can also use Wordmaster, an entertaining and informative show about language, with audio and texts of interviews in regular speed English. Do you want students to learn English through the discussion of current events in the news, including U.S. foreign policy topics? Use the daily “As It Is” news scripts and audio files posted on the home page of VOA Learning English.
Explore the site! Regular use of Learning English will help teachers and learners use and improve their English, while learning about a broad range of topics, in an innovative and creative way.