Listening material on the Internet

Looking for listening material? There is some great audio material out there on the Internet…

The BBC World Service is a great site to recommend to students. On this page you get the news (and sports and business) bulletins — one I recommend my learners to visit every day, something which they can easily get into the habit of doing by making the page the default start page on their browser.

There is also some interesting stuff in the BBC documentary archive and note also the stuff you can download from the BBC.

Another great site for audio is National Public Radio.

A selection of other sites for listening material:

  • At StoryCorps you can listen to "extraordinary stories from everyday people".
  • At Short Story Radio, you have "English language short stories from around the world"
  • In the archives at Business Talk Radio, you have stacks of audio files (not just on business), which might be the place to look if you want American English.
  • On, we have a 25-part radio series about language, language teaching and learning
  • At (that's the English Listening Language Lab Online) you have a vast collection of listening files, with questions, tapescripts etc. Elllo also has its own podcast
  • Less easy to navigate are the free resources at, which claims to be the "largest directory of free audio & video learning resources
  • For a really weird and wacky selection of downloadable MP3 audio files (with no problems over copyright) go to OneWorld radio.
  • At, you've got practice on minimal pairs (and in a variety of accents!), if you really want it…

Real English
If you've ever worried that the stuff that comes with your coursebook doesn't sound authentic, or your students have said they understand you, but not "real" natives in England (or elsewhere), the BBC has another site on "the way we speak around the UK".

An alternative are the English Accents and Dialects on the CollectBritain site, or the University of Kansas has a similar site, with downloadable Mp3 files, if you want international dialects of English.

Listening activities
What do you do with your listening material? The excellent site has some suggestions for listening activities.

Project work
At they suggest something that might make a great project: making your own radio diary. They provide lots of tips, apart from anything else.

Note that you could do the same sort of thing as a podcast [ >> what the @%$* is a podcast? ]

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One Comment

  1. If you want something on history, there's the material in the BBC's In our time programme archive.

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