For Listening and Speaking Students

This post is for my students from Academic Listening and Speaking.

Hi guys!  I know that many of you are off traveling and you might not be thinking about classes...But--I wanted to provide you with a few resources that I think are fun and useful.  These can help you stay up on your listening and speaking skills.


1.  ESL Video

This is a website that lets you watch parts of movies in English.  Along with the clips, it has short quizzes, so you can check your understanding.

2. UC Berkeley Lectures

If you want to keep developing your academic listening and note-taking skills, I'd suggest watching real lectures. You can find lectures from UC Berkeley, a top-notch university, on a variety of topics. I'm sure you'll find something to interest you.  Remember to take notes, and try to use the Cornell method when you do.

3. Waxing Philosophical

You can check out Philosophy Talk if you want to do some academic thinking and listening about philosophical ideas.  This a a podcast in which two philosophers (professors in California) have conversations on a wide variety of topics.

3. Stories for Entertainment

My three favorite programs to listen to for entertainment are Storycorps, This American Life (my favorite thing to do while cleaning my bedroom), and The Moth.  Storycorps are short, recorded interviews, which are animated sometimes.  This American Life is an hour long radio program on NPR, and it's often the most popular podcast in the US.  The Moth is an organization devoted to helping others strengthen their story-telling skills.  If you want to learn how to tell better stories, The Moth can serve as great inspiration.

4. Story-telling

Speaking of story-telling, TED has a list of talks focused on story-telling.  You can learn a great deal about presentation skills from watching these.

5. Conversation Partners

Of course, the best way to practice speaking is to make friends who you have to speak English with, and a conversation partner is a fantastic way to connect with an English speaker.  If you aren't going to be on campus, maybe you can look into finding a student who is studying your first language.  Once you find someone, you can set up a language exchange and spend half of your meeting times speaking in English and the other half of the time helping the English speakers practice your first language.

These are just a few of my initial recommendations on things to do to keep you sharp!  If you're looking for something else, comment below, or send me a message.  I'd be glad to help you find ways to continue to practice your English.  

Happy listening!