URL for this presentation: http://academics.smcvt.edu/cbauer-ramazani/present/Colombo/oralskills.htm

Christine's Links to Useful TESL/CALL Resources:

Using the Internet
to Develop Oral Skills

Centro Colombo Americano
Bogota, Colombia
July 2008

Christine Bauer-Ramazani
Saint Michael's College
Colchester, Vermont, U.S.A.



The Internet has a wealth of resources to aid in the development of oral skills, both for teachers and learners.  From my over 7000-links-compendium I have selected sites that you can integrate into your classes for listening, speaking, and pronunciation practice.  In this hands-on workshop participants will experience audio and video resources for listening development, try out text-to-speech programs, and experiment with some free audio and video recording tools that teachers and students can use for interaction and collaboration on projects.

Resources for Listening: highlights from Christine's Links to Useful TESL/CALL Web Sites--ESL Teaching / Learning Resources for Listening (http://academics.smcvt.edu/cbauer-ramazani/Links/esl_listening.htm)

Language Learning

  1. Randall's ESL Cyber Listening Lab <www.esl-lab.com/> -- an amazing collection of audio/video lectures for all levels of listening comprehension, together with self-tests and answers
  1. Real English <www.realenglish.com/> -- on-line video/audio lessons with fill-in, multiple-choice, matching questions based on spontaneous street interviews; useful for Oral Interaction from Beginner to Intermediate level
  • Pre-intermediate: Lesson 7 - What's your astrological sign? This lesson concentrates on a great deal of useful vocabulary while introducing like as an adverb.
  1. English Language Listening Lab Online <www.elllo.org> -- natural conversations with various speakers of English; over 1000 listening activities for all levels; includes new videos with video slide shows, script, comprehension questions, links to interactive games (e.g. Family Feud)
    Types of activities: interviews, newscasts, surveys (Mixer), songs, presentations (Talking Points), and listening games (for beginners)

News for English language learners (audio)

  1. Breaking News English <www.breakingnewsenglish.com/> -- EFL/ESL news with free lesson plans, handouts and podcast for current events; topics include business English, environment, health, issues, lifestyle, people/entertainment/gossip, technology, world news
  2. Voice of America's Special English <www.voanews.com/specialenglish/> -- audio broadcasts (mp3 and RealAudio) in clear and simple American English; get scripts (by program and day of the week); limited vocabulary of 1500 words; short, simple sentences that contain only one idea; no idioms used; spoken at about two-thirds the speed of standard English; the latest news from around the world; a different short feature every day about development, agriculture, health, education, economics, news events and American idioms; 15-minute in-depth features about life in the United States, news about science and space, American history, popular culture, influential Americans and short stories; also for English Learning: Words and their Stories, Wordmaster, Games with Words; free email subscription

Music for Learning English

  1. Teaching with songs <www.isabelperez.com/songs.htm> -- song lyrics and activities for ESL, by Isabelle Pérez Torres; includes matching, cloze, and other interactive exercises!

  2. ESL Video.com <http://eslvideo.com/index.php> -- 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


  1. English-Trailers.com <www.english-trailers.com/index.php> -- includes warm-up questions, summaries of movie, vocabulary finder, movie clips, script, cloze exercise, quiz, answer check, and Web links! Great for ESL/EFL activities with movie trailers.
    • Example: About Schmidt (intermediate to high-intermediate)
  2. Comingsoon.net <http://comingsoon.net/trailers/> -- movie trailers in alphabetical order
  3. Internet Movie Database (IMDb) -- search for movie trailers by title, characters, people, quotes, bios, plot, ratings

  4. YouTube <http://youtube.com/>, Google Video <http://video.google.com>  -- search for movie trailers, video clips; see also  lesson plans for using YouTube for ESL: <http://esl.about.com/od/listeninglessonplans/a/youtube.htm>

Resources for Speaking: top picks from Christine's Links to Useful TESL/CALL Web Sites--ESL Teaching / Learning Resources for Speaking (http://academics.smcvt.edu/cbauer-ramazani/Links/esl_speaking.htm)

  1. Springdoo <www.springdoo.com>  -- send your audio or video recordings with text via email; now called Bedroom TV (http://www.bedroomtv.com/)
  2. Audacity <audacity.sourceforge.net/download/> -- [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.

Resources for Pronunciation: top picks from Christine's Links to Useful TESL/CALL Web Sites--ESL Teaching / Learning Resources for Pronunciation (http://academics.smcvt.edu/cbauer-ramazani/Links/esl_pronunciation.htm)  

  1. Phonetics Focus and Flashcard Maker <www.cambridgeenglishonline.com/Phonetics_Focus/> -- all phonemes with phonetic script and sounds, flashcards, Entry/Exit Tests, Phonemic Chart, games

    • Phonemic Chart > Phonemic Flip > Which Phoneme? > Phon' Chart Quiz for consonants, vowels, dipthongs (drag and drop) > Record and Practice (requires download) > Phonemic Hangman: practices sound-symbol relationships (recognition of IPA and spelling of words)

  2. Phonetics: The Sounds of English (German, Spanish) <www.uiowa.edu/%7Eacadtech/phonetics/#> -- animated sounds, with side view and articulation in front view videos, plus audio samples of initial, medial, final occurrence (Flash 7 required); University of Iowa

    • American English > Consonants > Fricative > sh > Play

  3. The Sounds of English and the International Phonetic Alphabet <www.antimoon.com/how/pronunc-soundsipa.htm> -- with audio (.mp3) of minimal pairs, some for both American and British English

  4. English Pronunciation

© 2008: Christine Bauer-Ramazani; last updated: August 18, 2021