Teaching tips & advice
Online listening resources for ESL/EFL teachers
General ESL/EFL listening resources
- Arlyn Freed’s ESL/EFL Listening Resources
Lots of useful links, collected on the eslhome.com website.
A ton of useful materials here.
- ESL Lab
- Listen and Write
Nice dictagloss/dictation-focussed website.
- Podcasts In English
"Natural conversations; real English."
Impressive collection of human-read audio books, from short stories to philosophy.
Exciting if idealistic project to turn every public domain book into a human-read audio book. Browse their current collection, or volunteer to narrate a book.
- Archive of American Television
Video interviews with well-known US TV personalities.
- BBC Audio Interviews, A-Z
Amazing collection, sadly not updated since June 2005.
- BBC: Five Minutes With…
5-minute interviews with various poets, actors, authors, popular scientists, etc., mostly from the UK.
- BBC: The Reith Lectures
Yearly lectures aimed at the general public, given by prominent figures in various “high-brow” fields (philosophy, economics, physics, etc.)
Audio and video interviews with various authors and artistes working in the UK.
Music – online players
The sites below have large collections of music you can listen to for free online.
- Classical Live Online Radio
Links to 160 free, online, Classical radio stations.
- Last FM
Allows users to share recommendations; you have to sign up before you can listen to anything, though.
Only works in certain countries, but great where it does.
- BBC Learn English: News English Extra
Listen to stories from the news, with vocabulary exercises designed for English language students.
- BBC World Service News Headlines
Updated 24 hours a day.
- EnglishClub.com: Listen to News
News digest, cloze tasks, etc, updated every Monday.
- Time Video
Wide-ranging interviews and reports from Time Magazine (USA).
- The Children’s Poetry Archive
Kids section of the Poetry Archive.
- Poetry Archive
Great collection of poets who write in English, reading selections from their own works.
“Stories” section from the BBC’s CBeebies webpages. You can play songs and games, listen to stories, etc.
- Interactive Stories for Kids
Lovely set of links from the Woodlands Junior School, Kent website.
- Light Up Your Brain: Stories
Spoken and written short stories for kids.
- The Little Animals Activity Centre
From the BBC.
- Speakaboos: Journey to Space
Nursery rhymes, folk and fairy tales, etc. The site contains lesson plans, games and activities, some of which you have to pay for.
- Storyline Online
Children’s stories read by (famous) members of the US Screen Actors’ Guild.
Teens and adults
- British Council stories and poems
Suitable for intermediate to advanced level students, apparently.
- The Moonlit Road
Spoken and written Southern USA ghost stories.
- Short Story Radio
All kinds of short stories here.
- The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor
His daily podcasts, stories and poems.
Videos – watching and sharing
Places where you can watch, share and perhaps upload online videos.
A fantastic resource of inspiring and interesting talks. Great for high-level students.
Software for ESL/EFL teachers and students
Online video or audio chat
Note: you will need to download (one of) the pieces of software below, and make sure it is installed on your students’ computers as well.
- Google Talk
- MSN Messenger
This only works with Windows and Mac OS X operating systems (not Linux et al).
Very popular program that works on all the major operating systems.
Chatting in virtual worlds
Note: this will require a fast internet connection from your students’ and your computers.
Recording – podcasts
The sites below allow you to record and share audio and (sometimes) video files online.
Recording – to your computer
Your computer almost certainly comes with an included sound recorder. The programs below are all good, basic and free options. Remember that you’ll need some kind of microphone to use them, though!
Sound recorder and editor for Windows, OS X and Linux operating systems.
- Audacity – how to make a new recording
Tutorial showing you how to record using Audacity.
- SimpleSound – an online guide
Gives step-by-step instructions for recording audio using Apple’s bundled sound recorder.
- Sound Recorder 2.1
Mac-only program that records audio and saves it as a Quicktime video file.
- Sound Recorder – an online guide
Instructions from Microsoft on how to use the “Sound Recorder” program that comes with their Windows operating system.
Recording – to voice boards
Voice boards are online forums where you can hear messages instead of reading them, so students can record themselves and upload their audio files to a special webpage.