The latest post in our series aimed at helping early career teachers…

If, like us, you find that one of the most commonly heard requests from your learners is to provide them with additional listening materials to study with outside of class, this post is definitely for you.

We’ve trawled the internet and the result of our extensive labors is the list of seven great resources you see below… enjoy!

1) British Council Learn English Teens

The Listening skills practice section of this fantastic website enables learners to practice and improve listening skills for their school studies and English exams.

Reasons why we use this site

  • It caters specifically for teenage learners.
  • The activities have been carefully prepared for different levels (according to CEF levels).
  • There are interactive pre-listening vocabulary exercises.
  • Copious post-listening activities include true or false questions and gap fills.
  • Transcripts, worksheets and other downloadable materials are also available.
  • The site is regularly updated with new materials.
  • Materials are extremely high quality.
  • There’s an app.

2) BBC Insight Plus – Talk about English

This is an older site (and no longer updated), but a great resource for learners of academic English. It features lectures on many typical academic subjects, such as global warming, economics and drug use.

Reasons why we use this site

  • Each lecture contains a variety of accents.
  • The resources are downloadable and a script is full script is available in most cases.
  • The subjects are very relevant to academic English.
  • Although not updated any more, this site links to many other free English listening resources on the BBC website for Business English, etc.

3) Elllo

Elllo provides a wealth of listening exercises in video or audio format. What I particularly like about this one is that the listening exercises feature English speakers of different nationalities, meaning your learners are exposed to a variety of English accents like Australian, South African and Scottish among others.

Reasons why we use this site

  • Search results are given by level, topic, country or media.
  • There is an option that allows you choose from games, audio or video.
  • All of the exercises come with vocabulary lists, additional exercises or quizzes, as well as download links.

4) ESL Cyber Listening Lab

The original online ESL listening resource (this site has been going strong since 1998); still worth a mention after all these years. Teacher Randall Davis put together this very impressive site, filled with listening quizzes.

Reasons why we use this site

  • There are quizzes divided into Easy, Medium and Difficult levels.
  • Each quiz comes with a pre-listening activity, a multiple-choice quiz based on the listening and post-listening activities that include vocabulary exercises.
  • A wide range of ready-to-use listening activities for any level.
  • Good to assign for homework.

5) Voice of America

Voice of America is a multimedia platform that delivers news to English learners across the globe.

Reasons why we use this site

  • The site offers a Mobile Wordbook that teaches learners how to say and use a word in a sentence.
  • Each video is less than three minutes long and includes subtitles.
  • The audio and video are public domain, which means you can legally use the files in the classroom and also download them.
  • Downloads are in video format and as MP3 files that learners can listen to anywhere.
  • There’s app for iPhone and Android.

6) Talk English

Talk English has a great range of listening lessons (hundreds of dialogues at different levels) for Basic, Intermediate and Advanced learners.

Reasons why we use this site

  • The site offers multiple choice quizzes and learners can also read a script of the audio.
  • Teachers and learners can use the website online for free; alternatively, you can pay a small one-time fee for unlimited downloads.
  • There’s an app for iPhone and Android.

7) Newsy

Newsy features short news segments on a wide variety of topics including business and entertainment, as well as international and US news.

Reasons why we use this site

  • Provides real-life listening practice on topical themes.
  • Each video is posted with a transcript of the news report, giving ESL learners the choice of just listening, or listening and reading.
  • Great for learners who need something a bit more challenging.
  • The site offers an app for iPhone, iPad and Android.