Monday, February 16, 2009

Free ESL Podcasts with Transcripts

Hello and Welcome!

As the title says, this blog offers guidance towards finding “Free ESL Podcasts with Transcripts“ on the Internet. As an ESL tutor with Literacy Volunteers of America, I have discovered the beauty of using podcasts with transcripts to fire up my student’s listening and speaking skills. There are many ESL websites that charge for podcasts and transcripts, but I’m a non-paid volunteer tutor and my student is a hard working individual who is trying to support her family so neither of us has extra resources available. These websites that offer free podcasts with transcripts are excellent!

The websites I recommend are the ones that I regularly use. These sites generally have short podcasts; the subjects are interesting in addition to being relative to my student’s needs and have full transcripts. On most sites, the downloading of MP3 files is easy to figure out and if not so easy, I have given directions.

I would like to extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to the creators of these websites. The value of what they offer people who are trying to learn another language in order to improve their lives and the lives of their families is immeasurable.

So here is my current list of Free ESL Podcasts with Transcripts:

ELLLO.Org is a an ESL website that features over 1000 audio conversations and interviews with corresponding transcripts. ELLLO stands for English Language Listening Lab Online. You can either listen online or download into an MP3 file. Something new that has been recently added are video interviews with transcripts where you can see the person who is speaking. The topics covered are an interesting wide range of subjects and activities with English speakers from many different countries. There are also interactive quizzes available. It is a very friendly website that updates weekly to add interest to keep it fresh! This is a FREE WEBSITE.

Breaking News English.Com bills itself as a site for “ESL English Lesson Plans for Teaching Current Events“! So while your student is learning English he can also learn what is happening in the news. It is a wonderful source of short audio news stories that have available transcripts and quite involved lessons and quizzes. The news stories are current and there is also an archive going back to 2004. There is a section where you can select which topics you might be interested in learning including, Business English, Environment, Health, Lifestyle, Gossip, Technology and World News. Although there is a link for making a donation, this is a FREE WEBSITE.

Culips.Com This is a wonderful website that is a very cleverly designed to make learning fun! This site originates in Montreal, Canada and was created by several young language teachers who are the voices on the podcasts. The podcasts are usually done in a conversational form with two people discussing a topic. The topics tend to be of a light-hearted nature rather than serious subjects. With a very up beat approach they discuss idioms, vocabulary, expressions, slang and grammar. The “Culippers” are also interested in what the audience has to say and they have podcasts that respond to e-mail questions. The length of the podcasts are at least 5 minutes or more, however, they are so interesting that the time goes by quickly. Downloading to an MP3 file is easy and the transcripts with quizzes and lots of extra material come up on a PDF file with no problem. You do have to register to get the transcripts, but minimal information is called for during registration. There is a link to make a donation, however this is a wonderful FREE WEBSITE.

VOA News.Com - Special English This is a Voice of America website designed to communicate by radio in clear and simple English with people whose native language is not English. There are many current short radio stories on this site that can be downloaded into an MP3 file with printer friendly transcripts. The stories are read slowly with short sentences and limited vocabulary. There is an easily accessible archive with a vast wealth of stories going back to 2001. Also, their little search window is easy to use and a fast way to access various topics you may want to learn. This is a FREE WEBSITE.

The English Desk.Com is a website originating in Canada that offers podcasts with transcripts that have a wide variety of themes. The voices on the podcasts read their scripts at a very steady understandable pace using simple yet interesting vocabulary. There are over 50 stories available and they seem to add to them on a weekly basis. The listening time for each story is between 2-4 minutes. The podcasts can easily be listened to online with their transcripts readily available. However if you wish to download the stories, use this link to get to the page where you can download to your MP3 player for listening practice. This is a wonderful website and it is a FREE WEBSITE.