Tag Archives: listening sites

Wanna Watch British TV Online for Free?

I should preface this by saying that I’ve never really been a fan of watching TV. Then I came across this site,  watchallchannels.com,  and now not only do I recommend it to my students but also find myself spending more time watching TV.

So if you have internet, you can watch British TV channels online for free including BBC1, BBC2,(3 and 4) ITV, Channel 4, Sky News, Film4 Live plus a lot more.

The site is mobile friendly so you can watch these channels on any device.

Watching British TV is a nice alternative to watching series or listening to podcasts to improve your listening skills.

Give it a go!

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The 8 Best Audio/Video News and Current Affairs Websites to Learn English.

I’m currently really tied up with checking exams, so I’m going to make the introduction to this blog post really brief.  I’m sure you have enough on your plate, too. June is usually a hectic month for almost everybody, isn’t it?

So, how do you keep up with the latest news? Or maybe, are you one of those who, sick and tired of reading bad news, have decided to completely isolate yourself from the world? I wouldn’t blame you!

If you are one of those, I kindly suggest you make an exception for the sake of learning and improving your English. You won’t regret it! Reading is one of the best ways of acquiring vocabulary and learning grammar without studying.If you read and listen to one article every day, or two if you feel overzealous, your reading and listening skills will improve very quickly. Trust me on this!

This is my selection of the best audio/video news and current affairs websites to learn English.

I have looked at the following features in all the websites:

  • If the news is written in levels
  • If the same news is written/read at different levels
  • If it is audio news or video news
  • If the transcript is provided
  • If the site provides a ready-to-use lesson plan for the news
  • Any other relevant additional content

The image below is interactive. Click on the icon and read what each website has to offer.

How else can I use these sites in the classroom?
• Choose one news website from above and ask students, as homework, to read a piece of news they find interesting. Ask them to read the news several times until they feel confident they can retell it. In the next class, ask students to work in threes and share their news.

• The news. Same procedure as above but this time, at home, students will need to rewrite the piece of news in their own words. In class, and again working in threes, students will be asked to assume the role of newsreaders and present the news to the rest of the class.

The interactive image has been created with Genial.ly,a free online tool for creating visual interactive content.

Five Different Ways to Practise your Listening Skills.

I won’t spend much time introducing this post, mainly because today is one of these days when the muse has decided to leave me.

Perhaps you’re wondering what else you can do to pass your listening test with  flying colours apart from doing every single listening comprehension exercise in your student’s book and all the ones in the workbook. I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel, but here are a few things you might want to try.

1.Read a few tips and put them into practice. Students often complain that despite grasping the main information content of the recorded material, they sometimes seem to be unable to provide the right answer and this leads to frustration.

Getting a high mark in a listening comprehension exercise requires practice, lots, and also knowing a few tips. The most common types of listening exercises are Blank Filling and Multiple Choice and there are a few handy hints on how best to deal with them that you might want to read. The tips below aim at teaching students to listen effectively to enable them to select the information they require from what they hear.

 2.The obvious. Find a good listening site with plenty of listening exercises to choose from.

One of the sites I have been recommending my students lately to practise Listening is Ingles en Aviles, a fantastic blog aimed at B2 (upper-intermediate) and C1 (advanced students) where you’ll find lots of listening comprehension exercises to choose from.

Can I also suggest my own Listening section? 

3. Listening to Vaughan radio

Vaughan Radio is a live radio station broadcasting from Madrid, Spain that provides listeners the chance to improve English language skills. So while you’re at home, maybe cleaning or ironing and bored to death, you might want to give it a try. From time to time you’ll hear some Spanish words to help Spanish listeners, but most of the time the show is in English and really worth listening to.

Here’s the link to listen on the computer. Alternatively, you can download the app on your smart phone. Type Radio Vaughan in the search box to download the app. My favourite programme? “The show with no name”.

4. Watching series.

Here, I would recommend ororo.tv. What can ororo.tv do to help you improve your English? What will you find on this website? An amazing number of TV shows and films in their original versions and with subtitles in English. Right now, I am hooked on the Big Bang Theory, an American sitcom about four young scientists, but surely you’ll find attractive alternatives here to suit every taste and mood.

5. A new web tool: Youglish.

A very interesting tool to help you with your pronunciation and your listening is Youglish.  In the search box, type the word or expression you want to hear in context. Youglish provides you with videos, from You Tube, where the word/expression is spoken by real people and in context.


In case you’re wondering, this is not a sponsored post. It’s just a few recommendations from a humble teacher trying to help students by sharing some useful links.

Thanks for reading!

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Two Superb Sites to Practise Pronunciation by Reading Along

In this post, I want to share with you two superb sites that can help you improve pronunciation by reading along.

Aim:

By asking students to repeatedly read a selected text or story while simultaneously listening to a text or a story, you can help them

  • improve reading fluency
  • improve pronunciation
  • improve automatic word recognition

1. The first site Listen A Minute.com is one I have been using for years. Here you can find alphabetically-listed topic- based activities  from  Airports and Harry Potter to Zoos.You don’t even need to register. It’s completely free!! Choose a topic and read along. One minute a day… that’s all they are asking and in return… you’ll be passing your listening/speaking tests with flying colours.

2. The second site I want to share with you is a youtube channel called Learn English Through Story ,where short stories at various levels are read at a slow pace to further improve reading and listening skills in English. There are 7 levels. Choose the one that fits your level best. Visit youtube and write  Learn English through Story on the search box.

Procedure:

  • Pick a topic or a story
  • Set a  timer for one minute, and read the article/ story aloud until the timer goes off.
  • Read aloud the same passage  three times or until you feel confident.
  • Remember that the aim is to read along, not just to listen.
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Two Wonderful Sites to Practise Listening and other skills

So, you’ve done all the listening exercises in your textbook, workbook  and on my website 😉  but still, you feel you  really need to go the extra mile ?

Here you are two wonderful websites where you can find tons of Listening exercises to practise before the exam.

1. ESOL COURSES. Choose your level and then choose the skill you want to practise ; they are all great!

2. ESl Lounge Students: on this site you can also practise all skills . Scroll down the page and on the right sidebar, choose the skill you want to practise and your level.

 

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Improving your Pronunciation by Reading Along

I am one of those teachers who thinks pronunciation can be easily improved if you are
really determined to work on it. Contrary to what most people think, improving your pronunciation takes little  time and little effort although  it needs some  motivation. If you really want to improve, there are some sites that can help you if you just dedicate a little time and effort to this task. And the good news is that you can do it at home, without a teacher guiding you.

Reading along is an exercise I frequently practise with my students.
I normally choose texts from Listen a Minute .com because they are short ( 1 minute) and not too difficult. I like to do this practice at the beginning of the lesson because I think it is a good exercise to get them into English  quickly and without much effort.

We always follow the same steps.

♥Students listen to the text three times. The first time they  silently follow the text. The second time students read along  but in a low voice because at this stage they still need to hear the audio. Before playing the audio a third time  I point out some difficult words and make sure they pronounce them in the correct way.

♥ I split the text into two and ask students in pairs to read their part to their partner. I encourage them to correct their partner’s mistakes.

♥ Finally, I ask students to read aloud  one sentence each.

All in all it shouldn’t take more than 10  minutes.

Today, looking for something completely different on youtube I came accross this channel  which is also very good practice for the students to do at home to improve their pronunciation, though I would suggest it is for more intermediate or advanced students

The channel on youtube is called WaysandHow and it also has its own website where you can see and read  hundreds of  tutorials and tips on various aspects of life, including education. What is good about this site is that it is  beautifully subtitled and read at a good pace, so students can follow and read along. A nice way to improve pronunciation and also your vocabulary.

Have a look at this video -there are plenty to choose from and on a variety of issues- and see if it works for you! Hope it does!!

LinkengPark: a nice site to practise Listening

Happy Monday to you all!  And no, I am not being ironic here, I sort of “hate” Mondays like everybody else in this planet  but today I am going to share a link with you that is going to help brighten your day, especially if you like English as much as I do, or if you happen not to like it so much, yes, let’s say it, I know there are some few people out there who don’t give a damn about learning this language but still…. they need to.  So.. for both, here we have Linkengpark, a great site to help you  improve your listening skills.

I learned about Linkengpark from the sweetest person on earth, Maria Artime who, when seeing its potential, didn’t hesitate to share it with me. I thank you María. It is really helpful! Linkengpark is a very nice site to practise Listening. It offers lots of different Podcasts (6 minute English, English at work, BBC how to, ESL stories…),  Audiobooks (Pride and Prejudice, Roald Dahl ….)and Videos  (English Vid, CNN Students News, Reuters…) with transcript  so you can also practise pronunciation.   You can choose your level, from Elementary to Advanced .

A great site which I’ll be visiting very often. I hope you do, too.

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Ororo.tv a good alternative to just watching TV

Oh my gosh! I just love this website. I bumped into ororo.tv quite by chance and I was like ooohh it has this one and aahhh and also this one. And needless to say, I have spent the little free time I have had these days- I am still doing oral exams in the morning and marking written exams in the afternoon /evening, not to mention the cleaning and cooking stuff- having a nice laugh with the boys of the Big Bang Theory, which I highly recommend.
So, what can ororo.tv do to help you improve your English? What will you find on this website??? An amazing number of TV shows and films in their original versions and with subtitles in English. Right now, I am hooked on the Big Bang Theory, a American sitcom, about four young scientists, but surely you’ll find attractive alternatives here to suit every taste and mood.

Word on the Street

I just love this section in the British Council websiteWord on The Street is a co-production of the mighty BBC and the British Council. If, on their own, they produce superb material you can only imagine the outcome when they decide to join efforts and work together in the production of short videos (4 or 5 m) to teach everyday life and different aspects of the British culture. The videos are easy to watch, some of them accompanied by captions that help elementary students follow and divided into scenes for a deeper understanding. There are several tasks you can do after watching the video and you can also have a look at the tapescript. Some of the  most popular videos are: Oxford, Travel and Transport, Camden, Animals…etc. Aren’t you dying to try some of these? My favourite will most definitely be Camden. I am in love with the market!

2 Interesting Sites to Learn English through Videos

These are two sites to learn English and practise Listening through films.

♥Learn English through Movies : Practise your English with trailers and  video clips. Basically, you need to watch the video  and do different tasks. You always have the choice of taking an easy or difficult  Fill in the Blanks Exercise Quiz .

♥Lingual.net which  provides interesting movies, with subtitles, scripts, and quizzes, to help you practice English listening. They have a variety of videos: music, comedy,…etc  They also have some games  like Listening Master you need to try.

Hope they are useful!

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