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English Language Learners - Resources: Practice Listening to and Speaking English

We Are New York

We Are New York is a free television and conversation series created by the NYC government to help people practice English and learn about city services and resources at the same time.  

Each episode of the program includes a "magazine" (like a comic book) and a low-level reader to help understand the English in the story.  

The videos are short and interesting, about real life situations in New York. 

Pronunciation

English vowels and syllable stresses can be hard to master.  

Here is a site that will give you some good practice exercises: Learner's Dictionary 

This site was created by two people who teach English as a Foreign Language. Here, you can also listen to audio and test yourself on how well you hear the sounds in English: Many Things

BBC

The British Broadcasting Company (BBC) has a series of videos on its websites to help you develop your English listening and reading skills.

They especially explain a lot of idioms in English.  Some of the expressions are only said in the United Kingdom, but most of them are said here in the United States as well. 

Learning English

 

Audio books

The New York Public Library has many audiobooks.

They have "E-audiobooks", which are books that you can download onto your phone after you install this app, Libby. 

Here is the NYPL list of "E-audiobooks" 

They have regular audiobooks on CDs. To search for these, first do a keyword search and then select the "audiobooks" filter on the left side (you can select both "audiobooks" for CDs and "e-audiobooks" as well if you like).

NYPL screen with audiobook and e-audiobook results

You can choose the library you want to see by clicking on the 

 

Listening to interesting stories

This I Believe was a series on National Public Radio (NPR) of people reading short essays about their beliefs about life and experiences that shaped how they think.  You can listen to each show and read the transcript (a written account of everything the person says) at the same time (click on the title of a show to get to the transcript)


   

 

 

 

You can listen to ordinary people from many different backgrounds interviewing their family members, friends, and loved ones about their life on  StoryCorps.


 

This American Life is a radio show that has many interesting stories about real people.  Some of the stories are funny, some are serious.  Some are about big social issues like war and education, and others are very personal stories about individuals and families.  The English in This American Life is more difficult than the English in This I Believe

You can listen for free.  You can also download a free transcript for most of the shows (see below), so that you can read along as you listen to the words.  Here is an example of one show:

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have a smartphone or mp3 player, you can download This American Life stories free as a podcast, and listen on the subway or anywhere you like.

P.S. Radio Ambulante, mentioned in the sample episode you see here, is also a great podcast!  The stories are told in Spanish, so it's not for English practice, but very interesting and worth listening to (¡si usted habla español, o quiere practicarlo!).