Listening skills play a critical part in a student’s quest for success in English, but reviewing videos and podcast required to put together a good exercise can be time-consuming for teachers. HOPE Literacy has compiled this short list of free online resources you can use to beef up your classes with listening exercises.
Breaking News English https://breakingnewsenglish.com/ If you can wade through the ads and get to the core of what’s offered at Breaking News English, you’ll find a treasure trove of lesson resources. Chose from their thousands of English lessons on seven different levels, all of which center on actual news stories. Students can listen to podcasts, choose between British and North American accents, and even slow down the audio if they need to. Additional exercises are provided from reading to grammar to vocabulary. This is a site every ESL teacher should know about.
Randall’s ESL Listening Lab https://www.esl-lab.com Randall’s ESL Listening Lab takes a practical approach to English acquisition with a focus on content, voices, vocabulary, and natural speed. On this site, you can access hundreds of listening lessons and quizzes. Voices include adults, teens, and children from around the world. Randall includes pre- and post-listening exercises and even reviews idiomatic phrases. This site embraces cultural exchange through its topics and exercises and emphasizes practical language. Randall’s ESL Listening Lab’s focus on practical language makes it particularly useful for ESL programs serving immigrants, refugees, or any newcomers who are trying to acclimate to life in America.
The British Council http://learnenglishteens.britishcouncil.org/skills/listening Taking a more academic approach to ESL, the British Council offers a series of free online exercises designed to prepare students for the official language exams of Europe. Complete with comprehension questions and exercises, these podcasts and videos are particularly well-suited for students striving to up their English game for academic purposes.
PBS Learning Media https://www.pbslearningmedia.org/subjects/english-language-arts-and-literacy/speaking-and-listening/ PBS Learning Media is not necessarily created for the ESL classroom, but many of these ready-made lessons can be creatively tweaked to serve language learners. Scroll down to the “interactive lessons” and click “continue as a guest” to see what PBS has to offer to supplement your ESL classes. Some lessons target a younger audience, while others cover topics relevant to teens and adults.