English Listening is a free service provided to the ESL/EFL community by Lidget Green, Inc. The material was developed by Gary Buck, based on the idea that extensive listening to real-world English provides the best foundation for developing all English Language skills.

Overview of the English Listening Site

Basically, the materials consist of a large collection of recordings, of real people, talking in English about real things in their lives. The topics cover a wide range, whatever the speakers wanted to talk about. The recordings vary in English difficulty, from very simple to very advanced (from CEFR levels A2 to C2).

All the recordings are supported by study materials. They work by helping listeners activate the relevant schema. There is a title, which gives the general topic and orientates the listener; a summary of the content, which provides a framework for more detailed comprehension; a transcription of the actual spoken text, which enables students to decipher difficult parts; and a series of test questions, with answers, designed to both guide comprehensions and probe how well the listener understands what the speaker is trying to convey.

The student should choose whatever passage interests them, at a whatever level they can understand. They should simply listen to many such passages. If they understand, the listener can then move on to a different passage. If they have difficulties, students can use the study aids, then listen again, or simply chose another passage. An ideal passage is one the student can understand, but with just a little difficulty. It is not necessary to struggle—just relax and enjoy listening.

Get to know our speakers, by hearing what they have to say. The site is completely free, for both individual students and schools.

How to Use the Site

Feel free to sign up as many of your students as you wish. Feel free to build your English Listening curriculum around this site. Our intention is to continue supporting the English Listening site for the long-term future (as we have already done for 20years). However, that does cost money, and the more people that use the site, the more it costs.

If you are using the English Listening site to support your business, then we suggest you make a contribution towards the upkeep of the site. That way, you help to ensure the long-term viability of this resource.

Quality of the Materials

Everything on the site is developed by highly-qualified ESL/EFL professionals. The site was designed by Gary Buck, who has a Masters in TESOL, and a PhD focused on Listening Comprehension. The transcripts are all written by transcription professionals, using a system developed at the University of Michigan; the audio is processed by professional audio engineers, and the test questions are all written by experienced professional test-item writers. Such professionals get well paid for their work, and developing such high-quality materials is expensive.

Any contributions we received are put back into developing the site. Currently, we have over 500 passages available, all with study aids. Plus hundreds more passagesin development. Your contributions will enable us to add more content to the site. Your contributions will ensure we can continue this valuable resource for the English learning community.

How It Works

  • Anyone can explore the site, look around and see what we have. Such guest visitors can also listen to a small number of passages.
  • However, to study on the site, each user should set up a Premium Account, with a unique email address, so we can keep track of each user’s/student’s study history.
  • We keep a record of every student's study history, which is kept private, unless the student shares their study history with others. If you wish to monitor your student’s work, then ask them to share their study history with you.
  • The study history includes number of passages played, passage names, tests taken, test scores, average score by level and a calendar showing which days the English Listening.com learning site was accessed. When using this site as a classroom tool, simply instruct your students to enable the “Share Study History” feature so you can follow their progress, test scores, or homework assignments.
  • Once enrolled, users can create and share playlists. For example, a student learns that she and a classmate both have a love of music, so they can create and share playlists about music. Or, a teacher can create a playlist of 6 passages at B1 level and share it with their class for homework. If the teacher finds a 7th passage, they can simply add it to the playlist and the student’s version will also be updated.

Study Aids

Each passage has a number of study aids to help the listener understand. They are:

Listening Several Times By listening to a passage several times, you can improve your understanding. Each time you listen, you will understand more. You can listen to difficult parts a numberof times. Just relax and enjoy.

The Summary The summary provides a brief overview, or outline, of what the speaker is talking about. Reading the summary will prepare listeners to understand what the speakeris saying—in technical terms, it activates the relevant schema. Reading it first, will help comprehension.

The Transcript Speakers often speak quickly and don’t always say things correctly. The transcript tells you exactly what the speakers said. It includes any mistakes, repeated words, half-spoken words, stuttering, or the use of non-words, such as “umm” or “ahh”. If there is a place in the talk that you don’t understand, even though you listened many times, it may be the speaker’s fault. Use the transcript to clarify your understanding.

The Test The test is a great study aid. The questions all ask about important things in the passage. By looking at the questions, and the correct answers, you will know what is important in the passage. After looking at the test, listen to the passage again, and try to figure out why the correct answers are correct, and why the incorrect answers are wrong. This will help listeners to understand.

Using the Site

Everything on the site can be accessed from the Header Menu:

Educators provides all the resources that administrators, curriculum designers or teachers will need

Schools provides an overview of the site for ESL/EFL teachers

Students shows all of the resources that a student needs to study effectively

Explore shows the full list of all passages — use the filters to select passages of interest

Listen links to 15 passages that can be played before signing up

Understand explains how the study aids work

FAQs lists Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Contact Us links to a form to send us feedback, or ask questions

Other Resources

We have a number of resources that will help you use this site.

Study Guide

Why Study Listening

Choosing the Right Passage

CEFR Levels

Our Transcription System

Our Recordings

We are happy to help you set up your curriculum, answer any questions you may have, or listen to your valuable feedback. Please don’t hesitate to use the Contact Us page.