Best tech tools to practice English listening

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    The best tech tools to practice English listening include BBC podcasts, Speechify, and Quizlet. Read on for the full list.

    Developing listening skills in English can be challenging for English language learners, no matter whether you are learning English outside of or within an English-speaking country. Fortunately, digital tools can help speed up the process of understanding spoken English. Here, we’re covering the best tech tools and online resources for English listening practice.

    Best tech tools for improving English listening skills

    Use the tools below to boost your listening comprehension in English, in addition to taking standard English courses.

    Best language learning apps for English listening practice

    Language learning apps make for an interactive and fun foreign language learning experience. You learn new vocabulary and practice listening by doing interactive exercises and quizzes.

    Many EFL teachers recommend apps for second language learning to boost motivation and make learners more consistent.

    Popular apps include:

    Duolingo

    Duolingo is an interactive learning app that works on all four language skills (listening, reading, writing, speaking). It takes an innovative approach to teaching English vocabulary and English grammar with both listening lessons and reading lessons.

    Miracle FunBox

    Miracle FunBox has English learning games for beginners and children, including ABC games and numerous other activities to work on speaking and reading skills.

    Quizlet

    Quizlet is an app for making flashcards and reviewing vocabulary or topic content. The learner matches images, video, text, and sounds to focus terms, making the app ideal for practicing new vocab and learning tenses.

    PORO

    PORO is a great app for beginner self-learners of English, with hundreds of short audio recordings of conversations on various topics. Improve your listening and speaking skills at the same time with this free app.

    Memrise

    Memrise is one of the most comprehensive apps for learning English. You can choose from dozens of courses focusing on specific skills. Learn new words, master grammar, and become a better reader, all while working on your listening skills.

    Best online resources

    Online resources like web pages, podcasts, and learning websites make online English learning a breeze. Below are some of the most popular online resources for English learners.

    British Council LearnEnglish Podcast

    British Council has a dedicated platform for podcasts for English learners. The topics include the act of language learning, but also various topics from world news to entertainment.

    Esl-lounge.com

    ESL teachers and students can benefit from lesson plans and materials for all levels at ESL-lounge.com. The website also includes test prep for IELTS, TOEFL, CAE, and FCE exams. Additionally, the plans for U.S. and U.K. English include mp3 files, making this a great resource to improve your listening skills.

    BBC Learning English

    BBC-curated English lessons and presenters join for a common mission to make language classes more fun. Included are programs like English My Way, 6 Minute English, English in a Minute, British Chat, Tim’s Pronunciation Workshop, and many others.

    International Dialects of English Archive (IDEA)

    IDEA has a website for advanced-level English learners who wish to explore English accents from around the world. If you want to practice listening skills in multiple dialects, this website is for you.

    Happy English Podcast

    Suitable for all levels, Happy English Podcast is an American resource that tests your listening comprehension while teaching grammar, vocabulary, phrasal verbs, and idioms. More than 600 episodes of the podcast have been recorded so far.

    Wannalisn

    Wannalisn is a free app offering short videos from series, films, and songs, many of which also have subtitles, making it ideal for practicing listening skills and pronunciation through real-life conversations.

    Lit2Go

    Lit2Go is a free collection of short stories and poems. You can work on your reading and listening skills while enjoying classic English literature, contemporary literature, and many other topics.

    English Club TV

    English Club TV works through a subscription but offers excellent value for the money. It’s an educational channel with thousands of videos, live streams and provides content for kids and adults.

    Best tech tools

    Tech tools like Speechify, NaturalReader, or Murf can help learners read English text aloud. These text to speech tools are suitable for learners of all levels and are also used by native English speakers.

    Text to speech tools can read aloud any text (web page, email, social media messages, PDFs, etc.) in real-time as fast or as slow as you want, making them ideal for gradually boosting listening skills.

    Other educational tech tools include:

    Kahoot

    Kahoot is a game-based language learning platform for creating, sharing, and playing games and quizzes.

    Lyrics Training

    This excellent interactive tool plays music videos, and you type in the lyrics as you hear them. If you enjoy music, there’s no better way to work on your listening skills than to use Lyrics Training. The software is available for iOS and Android users.

    Speechify—A valuable learning tool for English learners and English listening practice

    Speechify is a text to speech (TTS) tool that can read aloud any text in English. The app uses artificial intelligence and speech synthesis to generate audio files from text documents, web pages, emails, and messages. It’s a perfect tool for creating a listening activity out of any English text you read.

    The app is available for Android and iOS devices and also operates as a browser extension. Speechify offers ultimate customization levels so you can adjust the voice (male, female, or neutral), pitch, intonation, and speech rate to meet your specific level of English.

    Speechify is simple to use. Users can copy-paste the text into the API or upload a text document of any format (txt, doc, docx, HTML, ePUB, and others) and press a single button. The software then converts the text into speech and shares it in a WAV and MP3 format. You can also listen to the recording directly in the app. The text-highlighting feature makes it easy to follow the audio and read along to make learning a language more interactive and fun.

    Learn more about Speechify or try the software for free today, and start improving your English conversations by practicing listening to English with Speechify.

    FAQ

    What are some free resources for listening and practicing English?

    BBC podcasts, DailyStep English, The English We Speak, and Speechify are some of the best free resources for listening to and practicing English.

    What is the most common language in which English learners practice listening?

    According to the British Council data, some 400 million people in China learn English, making China the country with the highest number of English learners. As a result, the most popular language in which English learning is practiced is Chinese.

    What are some of the most difficult aspects of listening to English?

    A multitude of accents can make listening to English difficult for learners used to only one accent. For example, if you are only familiar with American English, you may have difficulty understanding British English.

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.

    Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify

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