Free Chat Links and Exercises

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Pronunciation Links

Words, words, words


British Council Websites

Listening Links

You can practise listening by going to any English language radio station, but it is probably better at first to go to a site where there are exercises and/or scripts of what people say on the recording.

Most of these sites offer American English. It's pity there aren't any British English sites!

The BBC's Children's News has hundreds of stories, all of which you can listen to. Some of the vocabulary will be difficult so why not open the Cambridge Learner's Dictionary, too and then put them side by side so you can drag difficult words from the news into the dictionary. Here is a picture of what it looks like.

The BBC offers a huge range of web pages that could be useful for anyone learning English who has reached the level of upper-intermediate.

I had a quick listen to some of these interviews with people like Elijah Wood, Britney Spears, Johnny Depp. I thought the quality was fantastic with broadband (ADSL) and the content might appeal to you. The interviews are also relatively short 5-10 minutes.

Another thing I saw that I thought might be interesting is a new experimental chat on the BBC. The idea is that once you have signed up you can browse around a lot of pages and ‘meet’ other people who are looking at the same pages. I didn’t bump into many people but I was there at 10 o’clock in the morning on a Sunday UK time, when most young people are probably still in bed! Anyway, my username is chris_bcn

News is a good source of listening material as it is updated every day. The BBC’s Newsround, which is for children has three advantages over the normal news or the World Service news. The first is that there is a recording of the vast majority of the news items and the second is that they are short and the third is that the voices are much younger and more like the sort of voices you might like to imitate!

Another more difficult and longer source of listening is the Live Chat archive. Here you will find much longer interviews some of which you can see on video as people like Pet Shop Boys, Mis-teeq, but many are just text and less useful.

Finally, the vast collection of short videos on Video Nation is great practice for listening as the videos are homemade and only a minute or two long. It’s a pity there are no transcripts, but you can use the slider to listen again to bits you don’t understand straight away. There are a good range of accents and ages.
If you find this too hard, there are a dozen or so videos with transcripts and exercises here.

Listen to the BBC World Service - no transcripts, though, I'm afraid!

Listen and watch BBC news, sport and weather 

The BBC's Children's News New!
Listen and read!

California Distance Learning Project - improve your listening here

VOA - Special English
"Special English" - Three elements make Special English unique. It has a limited vocabulary of 1500 words. Most are simple words that describe objects, actions or emotions. Some are more difficult. They are used for reporting world events and describing discoveries in medicine and science. Special English is written in short , simple sentences that contain only one idea. No idioms are used. And Special English is spoken at a slower pace, about two-thirds the speed of standard English. This helps people learning English hear each word clearly. It also helps people who are English speakers understand complex subjects.
Quizzes Based On Old VOA's Special English Programs

- improve your listening
Interactive Listening Comprehension Practice
Listening activities by levels
Randall's ESL Cyber Listening Lab - improve your listening here The English Listening lounge - some of it is freeThe English Listening lounge - some of it is free
Public Broadcasting Service - news archives with transcriptsAmerican Public Broadcasting Service

- news archives with transcripts - For native-speakers so it's difficult

For native-speakers so it's difficult

Ellie Wen, the founder and manager of, is a student at Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles, California. She hopes you'll enjoy visiting the site as much as she has enjoyed working on it. Ellie would like to thank her teachers and classmates for doing the recordings, and her friend Angelo Gladding for designing and maintaining the website


346 recording of poems and prose

Ghost stories haunt the moonlit backroads of the American South. Their roots in Southern culture and folklore are deep. Each month, The Moonlit Road brings you these ghost stories and other strange Southern folktales, told by the region's best storytellers


Ghost stories

Flash movies from Bartsoft - Try the Madonna oneFlash movies from Bartsoft - Try the Madonna one  
ęChris Fry December, 1999 - March, 2003    Contact:    Last updated: 26 March, 2003 20:19 CET