The Voice of America (VOA) is a radio project by the United States government. It was started in 1942, and it’s still going. One way it’s changed is that you can now use VOA’s English-studying resources any time you want, thanks to the internet. VOA News: Special English Programs are recorded radio news stories using “special English.” This means that the stories use basic vocabulary, simple sentences, and no idioms. It’s a good way to start confidently understanding spoken English. Best of all, the stories are updated regularly and frequently, so there’s usually something new when you check.
Each episode or program is about 30 minutes long, so they are long enough that it’s worth putting them on your iPod or other mp3 player. They have different themes on different days, so be sure to pick a theme that is interesting to you.
Here are direct links to some of the most useful parts of the project:
- List of words
- Stories arranged by subject
- Most recent stories (use the MP3 link to download the sound file, and click the story title to read the story)
If you look around the VOA website, you’ll find lots of other interesting and useful things. I’m glad we have this resource; since it has the support of the government, it can be updated regularly and frequently.