ESL/EFL Teaching/Learning Resources

Listening Comprehension

Listening Resources for ESL--audio/video
News / Talks
Learning English--AUDIO
Learning English--VIDEO


Sound clips (to movies, lyrics/songs)

Podcasts for ESL

Sound Stories



Text-to-speech Programs

Audio Recording Tools


Listening Resources for ESL--audio/video

See also my list of Listening and Reading resources.

News / Talks

Best Business Lectures playlist -- includes Michael Porter on competitiveness; strategic management, and more (varying lengths)

Using Online Lectures for Authentic Note-Taking Practice -- links to free online lectures, resources, suggestions by Nina Liakos, specifically's directory of ranked 25 schools with open coursewareYouTube (Search for university lectures, college courses, or lectures + the name of a school); Open Yale Courses; MIT Open Courseware; UC Berkeley; Academic Earth; Cosmo Learning; Open Culture; iTunesU; more lectures in many subjects available in free courses from MOOCs: Coursera, edX, Khan Academy

TED Talks (topics) or TED Talks filtered by subtitles, topic, length, e.g. TED Ed Lessons (substitles, no transcripts); TED Talks Education; TED Education on YouTube (subtitles, no transcripts); TED Ed playlist (Links to an external site. (subtitles, no transcripts); TED-Ed|Subjects (filtered by topic)

Voice of America--Learning English <> -- captioned videos, audio with/without scripts, news/topics by category, and classroom activities for learners of English (simplified), some by difficulty level.  

Frontline (PBS) <> -- videos with transcripts and discussion guides

60 Minutes <> -- weekly broadcasts with in-depth analysis and interviews; Up Next (most recent shows)

NPR Online <> -- National Public Radio; no commercials/ads, news and feature stories;

Aljazeera English / Aljazeera Video-- breaking news in video and pictures from around the world; live stream, interviews on many topics

Breaking News English <> -- EFL/ESL news in British English with audio files (.mp3 downloads), free lesson plans with skill-based activities, handouts, games with answer check; topics include business English, environment, health, issues, lifestyle, people/entertainment/gossip, technology, world news; Activities with Answer Check: Vocabulary - Fill-in-the-blank; Matching; Hangman; Flash cards; Games with Answer Check: Sentence jumble; Missing words (cloze); No letters (text reconstruction); Crossword (puzzle)

ChannelOne <> -- At ChannelOne Livewire, watch and download to iPod or PlayList--video/audio broadcasts of current news topics geared toward teens; includes free lesson plans, quizzes, and PowerPoint resources, e.g. on Black History Month and the Underground Railroad <> , the First Amendment <>

NBC News Video <> -- features world news, U.S. news, travel, politics, business, sports, entertainment, health, weather, tech and science

CBS News Video <>

News Video on Yahoo! News <


History--Speeches <>  -- Here's a really interesting place to practice your listening! Every day you'll find a new speech to listen to.  Click on Q to search for a list of all the speeches.  You can listen to many famous and historical speeches here.

History--Video Gallery <>  -- searchable; playlist can be established; some advertising


Learning English--AUDIO

Using Online Lectures for Authentic Note-Taking Practice -- links to free online lectures, resources, suggestions by Nina Liakos

Randall's ESL Cyber Listening Lab <> -- an amazing collection of audio/video lectures for all levels of listening comprehension, together with self-tests and answers; Pre-Listening Exercises; Listening Exercises; Post-Listening Exercises with voice-recordings and typed comments from native speakers and international students; voicethreads for students recording themselves; Vocabulary lessons; pronunciation; Internet searching;  Accent Reduction and Conversational English; Language Learning and Life Tips with audio and discussion questions; TOEFL/TOEIC Preparation with lectures, interviews, and conversations

Real English <> -- on-line video/audio lessons with fill-in, multiple-choice, matching questions based on spontaneous street interviews (uses Hot Potatoes); Record and play back your pronunciation of the vocabulary.

BBC Learning English: Watch and Listen <> -- articles for English language learners with audio (some with video), vocabulary--definitions in text and audio, and script; see also web casts

English Language Listening Lab Online <> -- Learn English by listening to English speakers from all over the world. Over 400 listening activities to choose from!  Includes High Beginner , Low Intermediate, High Intermediate , Advanced and 8 different varieties and accents of English; Types of activities: Views; Mixer: six different speakers answering the same question; Games (listening): The picture quiz for the listening quiz is designed to help people listen for gist. The text quiz is designed to help students listen for detail. Videos: with or without closed captioning; good for note-taking and summarizing; Songs: with song lyrics; News Center: is an animated newscast with six stories. Newscenter can help students learn academic English and develop test taking skills for standardized listening tests such as TOEFL®, TOEIC® and IELTS; Talking Points -- activities that help students with test taking skills and academic English. Each listening activity is a mini-lecture or presentation divided into six sections. They are designed to be short talks to help students on standardized tests like TOEFL®, TOEIC® and IELTS®.

Audio Concentration/Memory Games <> -- exercises with similar-sounding words

ESL Gold Listening <> -- for all levels: exercises, quizzes

Recommended Language Links <> -- excellent links to resources (mostly British English) for all areas of English language learning and teaching, including English for Academic Purposes

BBC Voices <> -- Journey with BBC radio journalists around the country and listen to hundreds of conversations...

Funny Ads  <>
<> --
Funny and interesting tv ads to improve your English <> -- large library of audio/video material for ESL/EFL (British site); contains ComAudio (Listen and read: Songs, stories, poetry and speeches); Idiomatic English (Practise: Sayings and proverbs, grammar); Audio Articles (Interesting articles--with dictionary support); Funny Videos (Read along, laugh and learn); Audio Project (Take part in the site's Audio project); Audio Books (library to read and listen; mostly for pay)

The English Listening Lounge <> -- a great collection of authentic listening with accompanying questions and scripts 

Dress Up <> -- Learn about the unfamiliar clothing that Americans have worn throughout our nation's history (1700-1900).  Interactive files with audio and text explanations; require the Flash Player. (link contributed by Sheena MacPherson)

International Dialects of English Archive (IDEA) <> -- recordings representing the English language accents/dialects spoken by people from North America. For ease of browsing they are listed by country and/or region; International Dialects of English Archive, IDEA, University of Kansas--Lawrence.

Cutting Edge CALL Demos
<> -- (Requires Shockwave) Interactive multimedia for ESL learners.   Minimal pair discrimination for troublesome consonants, interactive animation for preposition practice and listening exercises for grammar and verb tense.  Also included is an interactive module for American Sign Language.  This is truly the cutting edge of Internet CALL demos.

Conversation Questions for the ESL/EFL Classroom <

Learning Oral English Online <> -- by Rong-chang Li; listen to recorded conversations for ESL students

Improving Your Listening <> -- advice on how to improve listening skills; from Language Center in Hong Kong 

Internet TESL Journal:  Quizzes on Listening <> -- a list of links to listening quiz activities 

Renting A House <> -- Here's an interesting listening exercise from (in British English).  You'll need RealPlayer to do this exercise.  John is calling to ask about a house for rent.  The conversation will play twice.  Before you listen, read the questions.  Then write the answers to the questions when you hear them.   Pause your RealPlayer after the first listening, and check your answers.  Then listen to the conversation again.

The Apartment: Introduction to the Game <> -- The exercise provides plenty of practice with intermediate level listening & reading skills, and can easily be adapted for discussion and/pr writing work as well.  Both a student and teacher study guide are linked as further support.

Note taking Strategies <> -- By the Muskingum College Center for Advancement of Learning (Overview, Organization, abbreviations, and many more)

Atlas Electronics <> -- new Cordless Telephone Training System for use in the classroom, giving students the ability to practice their telephone speaking and listening skills using authentic equipment.

White House Home Page <> -- Basic information about the U.S. President and his family; pointers to other branches of the U.S. government.   Has nice graphics and a few sounds bites for listening practice--good intro to web browsing.

eViews <> -- Listening and comprehension exercises in different accents (with glossaries for students and lesson plans for teachers); uses RealAudio and MP3. 

Learning English--VIDEO

Real English <> -- on-line video/audio lessons (Real Media files that you download) with fill-in, multiple-choice, matching questions based on spontaneous street interviews (uses Hot Potatoes); best used with high-speed connection (DSL or higher) due to the high bandwidth required.

Connect with English (by Annenberg) <>  -- A video instructional series in English as a second language for college and high school classrooms and adult learners; 50 fifteen-minute video programs and coordinated books; can be used with closed-captioning; accompanying resource materials available; Note: video on demand for Foreign Languages (German, French, and Spanish); site is searchable;

YouTube <> -- lesson plans for using YouTube for ESL

TeacherTube <> -- videos uploaded by teachers or useful for teaching; for ESL, see

Movies -- movie clips, summaries, cloze exercise, quiz, script, and Web links!  Great for ESL/EFL activities with movie trailers.

English Learner Movie Guides <> -- Here's a great site for movie lovers! Each movie guide includes a look at the characters and the plot, and also includes a long list of vocabulary and culture notes. Just choose a movie from the movie menu, and then download it. (Use PDF if you want to print out the guide.)

Movie+Video+Cartoon Worksheets <> -- activities for listening with movies, videos, and cartoons; can be filtered by level <>  -- movie trailers in alphabetical order

Internet Movie Database (IMDb) -- search for movie trailers by title, characters, people, quotes, bios, plot, ratings

Movie Archive <> -- "Our goal in digitizing these movies and putting them online is to provide easy access to a rich and fascinating core collection of archival films."  Movie trailers in .avi format.

Yahoo!Movies -- movie trailers, summaries, photos, ratings, reviews

YouTube <> -- search for video clips, movie trailers, etc.

Google Video <> -- Search thousands of videos, TV shows, movies, and more

Connect with English (by Annenberg) <>  -- A video instructional series in English as a second language for college and high school classrooms and adult learners; 50 fifteen-minute video programs and coordinated books; can be used with closed-captioning; accompanying resource materials available; Note: video on demand for Foreign Languages (German, French, and Spanish); site is searchable;

Yahoo!Music <>  -- music videos, Internet radio, artists, music news, interviews

Sound Clips (movies, lyrics/songs)

The Movie Sounds Page <> -- short audio clips of quotes from famous movies.  See also Making your own sound samples at <>

Lyrics to Pop Songs: <> -- search by artist in alphabetical order
Lyrics to Pop Songs @ Universal Music <> -- contains links to all of their bands' sites
Lyrics to Pop Songs @ Time Warner < <> -- songs with video and lyrics (some with incorrect grammar)

Teaching with songs <> -- song lyrics and activities for ESL, by Isabelle Pérez Torres; include matching, cloze, and other interactive exercises to practice vocabulary, grammar, sounds; arranged in alphabetical order by singer; link to IPA Fonts for downloading; phonetic symbols appear in some exercises.   

ESL <> -- songs and other activities with video clips at beginning/low-intermediate/intermediate/high-intermediate proficiency levels, quizzes for listening comprehension, transcripts, and notes on culture, grammar, slang, pronunciation; quiz builder included

Podcasts for ESL

Podcasting 101 (Barry Bakin) -- see What is a podcast?  How do I listen and subscribe to podcasts? Do I need an iPod or other portable device? (No, and here's why..)  Where can I find more podcasts?  See also: What is podcasting?  <> -- an introduction to RSS

TESL/TEFL/TESOL/ESL/EFL/ESOL Links - ESL : Listening : Podcasts <> -- part of the Internet TESOL Journal

Fun English Lessons <> -- This ESL podcast is a comedy style talk show done by two Canadian brothers living in Shanghai, China. Fun to listen to and a great way to improve English.  Lots of good vocabulary and expressions with repetitions; concepts are repeated as well; topical issues.

Breaking News English--Podcasts <> -- Ready-to-use EFL / ESL Lesson Plans & Podcasts; level selections: easier or harder; includes articles with activities and fill-in-the blank quizzes and .mp3 files for listening (British English)
          To subscribe:
copy and paste the following web address into the URL field of the podcast software you are using
          ( If you are using iTunes, just click here for automatic subscription to this podcast.

20 Newest ESL Podcasts <> -- English as a Second Language Podcasts; includes news in special English, radio talk show, songs, idioms; some information with scripts

Mr. Bakin's ESL Podcast <> -- Personal broadcast by MrBakin's ESL, powered by GCast: Audio readings or exercises to accompany Barry Bakin's ESL Intermediate Low ESL class at Pacoima Skills Center

Easy Online RSS Reader for English as a Second Language (ESL) Podcasts <>  -- menu includes ESL podcasts (short/long) at different levels of difficulty (easy, medium, harder) and podcasts for native speakers; content: songs, news, idioms, talk shows (

Interesting Things for ESL Students-Podcasts <

Pod-EFL <> -- by Graham Stanley

Global Arab-English Podcasts <> -- by Buthaina Al-Othman

Tools to create Podcasts <>  -- posted by Graham Stanley on his Blog-Efl site <>

Sound Stories

Project Gutenberg <> -- 18,000 free books; includes a searchable catalogue (, includes human-read audio books, downloadable .mp3 files

Candlelight Stories <> -- free MP3 audio stories with scripts for kids; folktales from around the world; mp3 downloads or subscriptions

Podcasts for English, Literature, Literacy, and Drama <> -- British and American podcasts (link contributed by Fred Harvey, CALL Online 2007)

Stories to go <> -- stories/short stories in audio; mp3 files

Takako's Great Adventures <> -- (Requires Shockwave) Join this interactive adventure with Takako by reading text while listening to streamed audio.  Gap and comprehension exercises are integrated into each exercise. Some technical constraints for MAC users, but a phenomenal source for the ESL teacher.

The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor <> -- daily podcast of Garrison's Keillor's poems and stories, broadcast on National Public Radio; podcast subscription at <> -- search for and download free audiobooks


Audio Recording Tools

VoiceThread <> -- audio and text comments (group conversations) on pictures, video, graphics, documents, etc.; see/listen to example at
Audacity <> -- [1.5Mb] click to download this free, cross-platform software to record, amplify, fade, edit, copy, paste etc; converts audio files to .mp3 format. Download the Lame client in order to process the conversion.
Springdoo <>  -- send your audio or video recordings with text via email; now called Bedroom TV (
MyChingo <> -- upload audio with text to a voice mailbox on a Web page; receive notifications that you have messages waiting to be listened to.
VAESTRO Voiceboard <> -- free web-based audio forum for threaded voice discussions
DL Recorder <> -- simple, free audio recorder for MP3 files
Voicethread <> --
an online media album that can hold essentially any type of media (images, documents and videos) and allows people to make comments in 5 different ways - using voice (with a microphone or telephone), text, audio file, or video (with a webcam) - and share them with anyone they wish. A VoiceThread allows group conversations to be collected and shared in one place, from anywhere in the world.

Text-to-Speech Programs

Hypertext Builders <> -- Tom Cobb/Chris Greaves show how to link your own text to the 1-million-word Brown corpus and the online WordNet dictionary using sound.  Wire your own texts to TTS sound, Concordance + dictionary, Dictionary, or Reading-plus ... resources for every word in any text (shown on Call of the Wild or Boule de Suif pages - read the research).
TextAloud MP3 <>-- Reads text from email, web pages, reports and more, aloud on your PC. Files can be uploaded or text pasted on a page to be read.  TextAloud can also save your daily reading to MP3 or Windows Media files ready for playback on your iPod, PocketPC, or even on your TV with Tivo's Home Media Option.
NaturalReader <
> -- reads (text-to-speech) in different accents and male or female (Text files, MS Word files, MS Internet Explorer Webpages, Adobe PDF files, Emails
ReadPlease <> -- free text-to-speech software; ReadPlease and ReadingBar for Internet Explorer read out loud to you; ReadPlease reads any text you see on your screen; ReadingBar 2 reads any Web page in synthesized speech; click to download the free 30-day trial version of ReadPlease; download the 30-day free trial version of ReadingBar 2 at
ReadPlease Plus 2003 <> -- a fully-featured, easy-to-use, and natural sounding text-to-speech program that can read anything on your screen (as long as it can be copied onto the clipboard). The Plus version is compatible with the AT&T Natural Voices speech engine allowing for some of the highest quality voices (8k and 16k) on the market today. The basic voices that come with both versions are Microsoft Mike, Mary, and Sam, but there are hundreds of free international/multilingual Microsoft voices available for download.
Natural Voice Reader <> -- reads (text-to-speech) in different accents and male or female (Text files, MS Word files, MS Internet Explorer Webpages, Adobe PDF files, Emails <> -- The software is free to download and the information service provider pays an annual charge to speech enable their web site. Browsealoud enabling your web site will assist in the navigation of your site for the following sections of the population: Low literacy and reading skills, Where English is not the first language, Dyslexic Community, Mild visual impairment.

See also CALL-EJ Online, Vol. 7, No. 2 (Jan. 2006). Text-to-Speech Technology: What does it offer to foreign language leaners?"

Back to Christine's Links to Useful TESL/CALL Web Sites
Last Updated: Jan.1,2020
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