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Top 10 Free English Listening Exercise Websites

written by: Larry M. Lynch • edited by: Tricia Goss • updated: 1/5/2012

Listening exercises are an important element in learning English as a foreign language or English as a second language. Where can you find free English listening exercises? In this article we look at some possibilities.

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    Of the four basic English language skills --reading, writing, listening and speaking-- one of the most difficult to acquire is listening comprehension. Listening cannot actually be taught, but simply practiced through guided and other types of listening exercises until the language elements of grammar, vocabulary and syntax merge in the learner´s mind to permit improved listening comprehension.

    Here are some online locations where both ESL teachers and English as a second language learners can access free English listening exercises. You will find direct links to these resources in the References section at the end of the article.

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    Top 10 in No Particular Order

    1. Agenda Web has a data base containing hundreds of free English listening exercises as well as other types of practice activities for English as a second language learners.
    2. English Study Direct is another site with an extensive collection of free English listening exercises. There are audio-based and video-based listening practice activities in addition to some pronunciation – based practice activities.
    3. Eviews offers a unique twist on free English listening exercises. Their site has uploads of a broad range of interviews with both native and non-native English speakers who represent a variety of accents and pronunciation variables in English. The site also provides English teachers with sample lesson plans based on the listening comprehension activities so these can be more easily incorporated in ESL or EFL classes.
    4. Randall’s ESL Cyber Listening Lab likewise has an extensive variety of free English listening exercises. There are general English listening quizzes which are easy, medium or difficult for learners. Quizzes are done using both children’s and adult voices which makes for an even greater range of English listening comprehension practice.
    5. The English Listening Library Online is an additional great source of free English listening exercises available to learners of English as a second language. There are games, videos and songs online at the site and some interesting interviews in English on popular themes for language learners.
    6. About dot com’s English as a Second language page posts some real time audio free English listening exercises on their site along with additional information and listening strategies for ESL teachers and learners.
    7. The site at 100 Free Short English Stories for ESL Learners has a good collection of listening exercises as well as an array of grammar, dictation and crossword puzzles for ESL learners. There is such a broad range of free English listening exercises that this is sure to become one of the ESL teacher’s preferred sites. EFL learners will enjoy the activities on the site too.
    8. The site at English English has both ESL and EFL listening exercises in addition to some of the best quizzes, tests and puzzles to practice your English as a second language or English as a foreign language skills. there is a diagnostic listening test, news in English and even a section on famous speeches in English such as addresses by American presidents Richard M. Nixon and Jimmy Carter. There is also an address by England's Winston Churchill too.
    9. Exam English has free English listening exercises for practicing for the TOEFL and IELTS exams as well as other American and British English listening comprehension exams. This will certainly be a boon to English as a second language learners preparing for any English listening comprehension exam.
    10. You can listen to American and British English conversations and interviews online at OM Audio dialogues and conversations site written in both English and Spanish although all listening materials are strictly English only. Materials are divided into elementary, intermediate and advanced levels of difficulty to suit the skill levels and challenges of English language learners. Dozens of free English listening exercises are online at the site with extra activities and songs likewise available for even the most studious of English language learners.
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    Free English Listening Exercises

    For both English as a second language teachers and English as a foreign language learners alike, these ten suggested sites offer an extensive range of free English listening exercises which can provide practice in pronunciation, listening comprehension in both American and British accents. Some sites offer additional English accent practice by speakers from other English language variety areas too. Among these there is certainly something for all English language learners of every taste.

References