Authentic Listening Practice
Explore some of these sites. Choose two or three that you would like to visit regularly this term. Practice listening every day and log your time and comments. Download the authentic listening log.
- All Tech Considered http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/ From National Public Radio, "All Tech Considered explores how technology is changing culture and connection." Downloadable podcasts, transcripts.
- All Things Considered http://www.npr.org/programs/all-things-considered/ This is NPR's "flagship" news program. You can always find a good story here.
- American RadioWorks http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/ Excellent! High quality, in-depth, documentary style radio broadcasts on interesting social topics from American Public Media. Listen, get download .mp3 podcasts or subscribe!
- BBC Learning English http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/ For those students interested in learning or continuing with British English, this is a very good place to start.
- BBC World Service http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldserviceradio One of the world's great news services. Podcasts available.
- Business English Podcasts http://www.businessenglishpod.com/ Listen to or download podcasts on business topics.
- English as a Second Language Podcasts http://www.eslpod.com/website/index.php This site is a good source of listening activities--with written transcripts--for students wanting more listening practice outside of class.
- First Days in America http://www.pri.org/series/first-days from Public Radio International (PRI) This is a super website! Immigrants to the US have recorded the tale of their first day(s) or their parents' first day in the United States. This site even has a voice recorder for you to use to make a recording of your own first day in the US and upload to the site. Wonderful stories!
- Freakonomics Radio http://freakonomics.com/radio/ Listen to "The Hidden Side of Everything." These very interesting podcasts include a transcript. The show specializes in giving listeners a fresh, in-depth, perspective on familiar topics. Try listening to "Why Marry? parts 1 & 2."
- Fresh Air, with Terry Gross http://www.npr.org/programs/fresh-air/ This wonderful show from NPR and WHYY in Philadelphia is one of the most successful and popular broadcasts in the United States. Every weekday, Terry interviews interesting and important people from the world of entertainment, politics, science, the arts, and business. Highly entertaining, insightful, educational and. . . recommended! Try subscribing to the podcast!
- Here & Now http://hereandnow.wbur.org This is a very good daily live news program National Public Radio and WBUR in Boston. Great stories and interviews. Try this story about Dutch college students living together with seniors in a nursing home.
- Inquiring Mind Podcast https://soundcloud.com/inquiringminds "Each week Inquiring Minds brings you a new, in-depth exploration of the places where science, politics, and society collide."
- Intelligence Squared--IQ2 http://www.intelligencesquaredus.org This weekly radio program (Videos too!) presents real Oxford-style debates on some of the most important topics of the day. You can hear some of the best minds in various disciplines argue against each other in formal, classic style. It's a great show for college students! Recent topics include genetic engineering, physician-assisted suicide, and income equality.
- Invisibilia http://www.npr.org/programs/invisibilia/ This new weekly radio show "explores how people's lives are shaped--and sometimes even controlled--by ideas and feelings that are powerful and rarely examined." Check out the first episode. Wow! What a story!
- Latino USA. http://latinousa.org/ Join host Maria Hinojosa for a look at Latino life in the USA. Each week presents stories on social and political issues, culture and the arts, and daily American life for Latino-Americans.
- Living on Earth http://www.loe.org/ This is a very fine radio show that focuses on environmental issues, such as pollution and global warming. You can download and listen to .mp3 files of the shows. There are also written transcripts of each show.
- Marketplace http://www.marketplace.org This very popular daily radio show covers a variety of business news.
- Morning Edition http://www.npr.org/programs/morning-edition/ from NPR. Perhaps the finest morning news program in the country. Did you miss it on the radio this morning (KOPB 91.5 FM)? No problem. You can catch up here online. Select individual stories or download the whole broadcast.
- The Moth Radio Hour http://www.prx.org/themoth Do you want to listen to people tell funny, strange or disturbing stories in English? Yes? Then, this site is for you!
- The Moth (YouTube Channel) https://www.youtube.com/user/mothstories Watch videos of many of the stories from the Moth Radio Hour.
- Moyers & Company http://billmoyers.com Veteran journalist and public servant Bill Moyers conducts in-depth interviews with important people and reports on important social issues of the day. Video. Highly recommended!
- National Public Radio (NPR) http://www.npr.org/ This is the US equivalent of the BBC in Great Britain. Here is an example of the kind of story you might hear on NPR: "Third Generation Mexican-Americans Face Tough Times" (listen and read the transcript)
- NOVA (video) http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/ From the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and WGBH in Boston, NOVA is one of the best programs on television. Watch streaming video online. For a sample, try this great recent show about the ancient "lost city" of Petra, in Jordan. You'll be amazed!
- On Point with Tom Ashbrook http://onpoint.wbur.org Lots of interesting stories and interviews on many topics--including the important news of the day.
- Oregon Field Guide http://www.opb.org/television/programs/ofg/ This is a TV show all about Oregon. The website is a video archive of past programs that have appeared on OPB (Oregon Public Broadcasting. You can learn about Oregon while improving your listening skills.
- "Q: Arts, Music, Culture, Entertainment". http://www.pri.org/programs/q-jian-ghomeshi This popular Canadian talk show "covers entertainment, pop culture, and the high arts."
- Radio Diaries: New York Works http://www.radiodiaries.org/newyorkworks-home.html These audio diaries tell the stories of some people in New York City that have unusual jobs--unusual because these particular careers have almost disappeared from American life. Again, you can listen online and also read transcripts of the recordings. Just listen to those New York accents!
- Radio Diaries: Teenage Diaries http://www.radiodiaries.org/teenagediaries.html This is another great radio show from National Public Radio. Tape recorders were given to some interesting teenagers. They were to make daily recordings of their lives. You can listen to the recordings online and also read the transcript. Great authentic listening and reading practice! Try listening to more Radio Diaries.
- Radio Expeditions http://www.npr.org/templates/topics/topic.php?topicId=1023 Co-produced with the National Geographic Society, this site reports on visits to special places. Listen to the stories and read the transcripts.
- RadioLab http://www.radiolab.org RadioLab is probably the most entertaining science program you'll ever hear. Diverse topics; always surprising.
- Planet Money http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/ This special radio series covers business, economics and related topics. Excellent stories!
- A Prairie Home Companion http://prairiehome.publicradio.org Humorist and national treasure, Garrison Keillor presents one of the best and most popular radio programs in history. You may not like the music, but the stories and skits are funny. Try "The News from Lake Wobegon."
- Science Friday http://sciencefriday.com This weekly talk show covers diverse topics in the world of science. It includes great radio and video stories, interviews, and much more.
- Scientific American Frontiers http://www.pbs.org/saf/previous.htm This excellent video series explores many aspects of recent brain research and its role in learning. Highly recommended!
- Story Corps http://www.storycorps.org/listen This National Public Radio (NPR) project travels around the United States with a recording truck. Story Corps documents the stories of average Americans for the Library of Congress archives. Below are a few that I like. Great listening practice! Try the main page link and find your own favorites!
Story Corps Podcasts This webpage provides links to selected Story Corps recordings that you can download onto your i-pod or computer.
Story Corps: “A Typo Spells Romance for RP Salazars.” Listen to a young couple talk about how an email error brought them together.
Story Corps: "A daughter's struggles with learning to read" Listen to a girl and her mother talk about the child's problem with reading.
Story Corps: "A minister recalls the pain of segregation" Listen to this African American minister (similar to a priest) talk about the destruction of his school.
Story Corps: "A victim treats his mugger right" Here's a story about a mugging (robbery) that takes an unusual turn.
Story Corps: "Biracial family looks back at a big hurdle (obstacle)" An African-American woman and her white husband talk about meeting each other and getting married--and how their families reacted.
Story Corps: "From the fields to the classroom: a mother's tale" Listen to a mother tell her son about life in the migrant worker camps in the southern U.S. in the 1960s.
Story Corps: "Three-day Courtship Leads to a Lasting Marriage" This couple has been married for a long time. Listen to the story of how they met.
- The Story http://www.thestory.org/stories This show, from American Public Media profiles a wide spectrum of interesting people. Story archives and weekly podcasts available.
- Studio 360 http://pri.org/programs/studio-360 This show from PRI focuses on the latest news in pop culture and the arts, but it always offers great stories on other topics as well.
- The TakeAway http://pri.org/programs/takeaway This morning national news program offers in-depth reporting on important stories of the day. Here's a sample that ESOL students might appreciate: "Is Study Abroad a Waste of Time or a Key Ingredient for Baking a Global Citizen?"
- TED: Ideas Worth Spreading http://www.ted.com/ This is an amazing site! It has hundreds of downloadable video presentations by many of the world's leading thinkers and innovators in all areas of knowledge. This site is almost a university in itself--but with the best, most entertaining instructors in the world--and without the crowded lecture halls, obnoxious roommates, or tasteless cafeteria food!
- The TED Radio Hour " http://www.npr.org/programs/ted-radio-hour/ "A journey through fascinating ideas, astonishing inventions and new ways to think and create. Based on the riveting TEDTalks from the world's most remarkable minds" If you like some of the TEDTalks, then you'll love this site. There are hundreds of shorter downloadable or streaming stories and interviews. Super engaging and diverse topics.
- This American Life http://www.thisamericanlife.org/ This may be the best radio show in the United States. There is nothing else like it. In this edition, you will listen to the story of an American family that went through a divorce and learn what happened to the teenage children. If you subscribe to the show, you can download the podcast free for one week--or listen online. No transcript. Here's an example of one of the shows: This American Life: Episode 209. "Didn't Ask to Be Born"
- Voice of America Special English http://www.voanews.com/specialenglish/ Do you want to listen to real news stories in natural English that is easy to understand? Then, VOA Special English is for you. Listen to news stories that are spoken more slowly and with a more common vocabulary. Read transcripts of the stories. Download .mp3 files to your ipod. Great site!
- The World http://www.theworld.org/ This is another very good radio magazine show. It is sponsored by the BBC, PRI (Public Radio International) and WGBH Public Radio in Boston, Massachusetts. You can listen to and download interesting stories from around the world and also read the text of the stories. Here's a great example of the kind of stories you'll find at "The World." (click here)
Adult Education in the United States
Videos on Health Topics. Most of these health videos are very short and are good for extra listening practice.
Natural Hazards & Disasters--Preparing for "The Big One" in Oregon
- Document: "Living on Shaky Ground" How to Survive Earthquakes and Tsunamis in Oregon"
- Video: "Mega-Quake Could Hit North America" This BBC documentary focuses on earthquake preparedness in the Pacific Northwest. 48 minutes. Difficulty ***
- Video: "Cascadia Anniversary." This short video describes the last great earthquake to hit Oregon in the year 1700 and puts it into a geological context. 3 minutes; difficulty ***
- Earthquake Preparedness, part 1 (Clackamas County Sheriff's Office) 3 minutes; difficulty ***
- Earthquake Preparedness, part 2 (Clackamas County Sheriff's Office) 4 minutes; difficulty ***
- Earthquake Preparedness, part 3 (Clackamas County Sheriff's Office) 2 minutes; difficulty ***
- Earthquake Preparedness, part 4 (Clackamas County Sheriff's Office) 2 minutes; difficulty ***
- Earthquake Preparedness, part 5 (Clackamas County Sheriff's Office) 2 minutes; difficulty ***
- Earthquake Preparedness, part 6 (Clackamas County Sheriff's Office) 2 minutes; difficulty ***
- Earthquake Preparedness, part 7 (Clackamas County Sheriff's Office) 2 minutes; difficulty ***