Category Archives: podcasts

Contest Winners – Best Technique for EFL Learners

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The third category in the contest is the “Best Technique for English as a Foreign Language Learners.”

I use VOA special English program ( http://www.voanews.com/learningenglish/home/ ) to practise “shadowing”.

“Shadowing” is an established method most Japanese interpreters use for their training.

My level isn’t that high, so I chose VOA special English programs for the materials because they speak slower in the program than regular speed.

How to practise “shadowing” is easy. You listen to the program and imitate just as you just heard. It’s fun and I feel as if I’m playing a game; I need to concentrate to catch up with their speaking. I like “shadowing” better than simply listening. I feel thrilled :)

If you find some point you can’t follow/catch, you can check the manuscript on VOA website anytime. After you read and figured out which words you’d missed, you repeat “shadowing” until you can “shadow” it fluently.

I guess this helps my listening skill a lot. Also, it’s more fun than just reading or listening as I wrote above, which means it’s easier to continue. You can practise listening and reading at the same time, too :)

Twitter user @kaorie3 sent in this technique. Shadowing is good for EFL learners who live in areas without many fluent English speakers. By listening to the VOA speakers and copying them, you can practice American English speech patterns. This can also improve your listening skills. The VOA website, as @kaorie3 mentioned, uses slower language, so it’s easier to do.

If you want to try some more natural language, try NPR (National Public Radio). I’ve noticed that some of their programs have speakers who talk kind of slowly compared to live radio news. Try different programs until you find one that you like.

Thanks for entering the contest, @kaorie3!

Free listening resources

One major theme of this blog is free resources that you can access online to help you study English. There are lots of good resources on the internet, but they can be hard to find sometimes. So I hope I can help you find resources that you’ll enjoy using.

Here are a few resources for listening that I have come across recently:

  • Podiobooks.com is a website full of free audiobooks, which are books that have been read aloud and recorded. Some books are by amateur authors, but there are also famous books. You can listen to these books on an mp3 player.
  • LibriVox also provides free audiobooks.
  • The English Listening Language Lab Online is a wonderful site that lets you listen to short podcasts (sound recordings). The speakers come from all over the world and talk about lots of interesting topics. If you want to, you can check your listening skills by taking a quiz afterwards! I highly recommend this site.

If you like any of these sites, please leave a comment. Also, please comment if you have some other site you would like to recommend.

Don’t forget to recommend Readable to your friends if you think it’s useful! It’s a new project and I am really hoping to have lots of readers. Thanks for coming by!