Online Extensive Listening

Students can try listening online if they can manage it. Here are some places.

Please tell us if you find any more.   [email protected]

Various online materials

Here is a list of online materials

English Listening Lesson Library On-line Really interesting interviews on things like dating, grades, travel, in slow English. Vocabulary help too.

This article has some great ideas for what to watch on Netflix.  (Thanks Dave Adams for the link) (Thanks Chan-hee Park) (Thanks Chan-hee Park)

BBC learn English podcast

Online English Language Listening lab. This site has about 100 recorded interviews with interactive spoken questions. Free.

RepeatAfterUs is a site with over 2000 texts with about 300 recorded items. Free.

BBC Learning English by Radio online

Randall’s ESL Listening lab

Here are 12 Audio files. They are parts of 12 Penguin Readers.

Real English. Download a video clip for each lesson. A high bandwidth connection (cable, DSL, etc.) is recommended.

Recorded online conversations

Randall’s ESL Cyber Listening Lab. One of the largest ESL listening training resource on the Web with various interesting topics for three different levels.

Focus English. A conversation site created by John Liang, University of California, Riverside, with contents added frequently.

Learning Oral English Online. An online conversation book with ten lessons including Meeting Friends, Apartment Hunting, and Shopping in USA.

Foreign Languages for Travelers. An excellent site for people who want to quickly learn some useful English or other foreign language phrases.

OM Personal English Conversation. Over fifty useful, interesting English mp3 conversations in three levels with interactive activities.

Integration of Listening, Reading and Speaking Skills. A pioneer ESL website which is the earliest in using Web audio.

Using Idioms in Conversations. Listening to a dialogue in which an idiom is used.

CNN Streaming Video News. Watching CNN headline news online with your real player.

BBC Online English Learning. Listening to news and learning English in your own language.

 The following are thanks to Curtis Kelly.

 Spotlight Radio

I recommend this one.  Podcasts, stories, news.  The English is at almost normal level, but they read it VERY, VERY SLOWLY. You can listen, read and discuss the stories on-line.


The Sahara Desert is the world’s largest hot desert. It stretches over most of Northern Africa. It covers an area almost as large as the United States. The Ténéré region is in the South Central part of the Sahara. This is in North East Niger. Dunes, large sand mountains, surround this dry, hot area. Travellers through this place have to deal with hot temperatures, little water, and long stretches of sand. But, for many years, there WAS one place of hope – a sign of life – in this area. It was the Tree of Ténéré.

Connect with English

This one is good too.  It has video stories about people and their lives, in SLOW ENGLISH.


Rebecca’s Dream: The story begins as we meet Rebecca Casey, a 28-year-old Boston working woman, who dreams of becoming a singer. We also meet her boyfriend Matt who doesn’t think much of her dream, and her 17-year-old brother, Kevin, who doesn’t think much about the future at all.

English Listening Lounge  (Yellow, Red, Green)

Lots of short listening in all three levels, mainly people talking about their lives and experiences.  Normal speed, but easy language.


Scott was born in England but has lived most of his life in the US. He likes to play music and soccer, and he has traveled to Hawaii.

Adele’s ESL Corner

More for study than listening.  It has VERY EASY, SHORT listening lessons for beginners.  You fill in missing words


My name (1) Ima and I (2) from Chile. I (3) been in Australia for 2 years. I (4) in Melbourne and my (5) is 3/55 Adams Street, Kensington. I am 25 (6) old and single. In Chile I (7) a waitress and in Australia I am a waitress, (8).

Intermediate Level

VOA (Voice of America) News

News broadcasts, US history, etc with normal English, but said slowly. I recommend the  ”captioned videos:”  TV News shows with slow English and subtitles.


In recent days, Americans have lost two civil rights leaders of the twentieth century, Dorothy Height and Benjamin Hooks.  Dorothy Height died Tuesday at the age of ninety-eight. She witnessed more civil rights history than any other African-American leader of her time. She said the greatest change she witnessed was the ending of racial segregation laws in the United States.


Stories in fairly hard English, but read slowly.  You can read the scripts on-line.  (Be careful.  Not all the stories have audio.)


The Great San Francisco Earthquake

It was the morning of April 18, 1906, one hundred years ago. On the night before, the legendary tenor Enrico Caruso had turned in a great performance in aproduction of Carmen at the Mission Opera House in San Francisco. Afterwards, Caruso returned to his room at the Palace Hotel and went to bed in a good mood. However, his contentment was not to last long. In his own words:

” . . . I wake up about 5 o’clock, feeling my bed rocking as though I am in a ship on the ocean . .

Takako’s Great Adventure

This is a novel in parts that you can listen to. You can also download PDF files of it to read.  I don’t know how good it is.


Uncle Jim and Takako were both surprised to hear her name being called. After all, they were in a truck-stop café on a dark and rainy night in the middle of nowhere. They turned around to see who it was, but the man who was approaching was a stranger to both of them. From behind, Takako could feel Jim’s fingers dig into her arm. “I will do the talking. You stay quiet, or else!”


This site has mainly textbook-like dialogs and explanations of the English.  Not as interesting as the others, but you can download MP3 files for your iPod.

 WGBH Morning Stories Podcast


True stories for Native Speakers at normal speed, but they pause often. These short stories are deep and touching.  Sometimes the announcements by Tony Kahn at the beginning are long, but just wait.


Tommy talks about how one day, his old rival, Chuck, calls him and tells him he is sick.  They talk a few times before he dies from his illness. Tommy will never forget that day.

BBC Learning English

News stories you can read and listen to.  Some words are marked so that you can study vocabulary


Huang Guangyu built a billion dollar business from almost nothing. He dropped out of school and started selling batteries and radios on a market stallnearly 30 years ago. His business grew into a chain of more than thirteen hundred stores across China. Canny investments in property helped him build a fortune estimated to be in excess of 6.3 billion-dollars.

The Business English Pod

Listenings about business situations like job interviews, elevator pitches etc.  The language is a little easier and slower than normal.  You can download these podcasts for your iPod.  Dull, but a good way to learn business vocabulary.


A fixed asset loan is money that is lent to buy a fixed asset.

Video Vocab

Similar to the one above.  Rather high-level lectures on business concepts.  You can watch and listen, and read the words on the screen.


Once the brand is established there are ways to take it farther, such as through niche marketing.

 ABC & Other Channel TV Shows

Hundreds of video scenes from US ABC TV shows: Extreme Makeover, Lost, Desperate Housewives, etc.  They have the full episodes on-line too, but you can’t see these in Japan, just “Shorts,” individual scenes.

The same is true for these channels too:

NBC     (Heroes, The Office, Miami Vice, Jay Leno, etc)

Fox   (The Simpsons, American Idol, House, 24, etc.)

Discovery Kids

 US iTunes Store

This is the best.  If you can make an account in the US iTunes stores, you can buy or rent movies (¥100 – ¥400), TV shows, etc., even whole seasons, but you need a US credit card.

 Movie Trailers

Watch previews of the very lastest movies, or old classics.  Just click and watch.

Try these sites too:

Listen to English by Radio

Listen to radio news in English on your computer. With the links below you can get instant access to English language radio news programmes wherever you are in the world, without a radio. Perfect for listening practice.

BBC World Service

VOA Special English

Hear Words Pronounced

Some dictionary publishers, like the ones below, let students look up a word and listen to its pronunciation:
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language

Software for listening online

ComAudio. A program you can download and set up to listen to news, stories, and songs with text displayed.

Audacity  A program that allows you to record and edit sounds