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The Best Resources for English Listening Practice: 1000’s of Audio Hours for Every Skill Level


Practicing your English listening skills is easy when you have the right tools for the job.

Whether you’re looking for an on-the-go app, the perfect podcast for your interests or a way to practice your listening and reading skills at the same time, I have some great recommendations for you.

Tune in to any of the English listening practice resources below to get access to thousands of audio hours and improve your listening skills!

Contents

Apps

English Listening Step by Step

english listening practice

Level: All levels

This is a very complete app that includes over 1,000 audio clips, each of them with a transcript and a listening comprehension quiz.

The audios are divided into different levels, and you can choose the variety of English you want to learn.

Listen English Daily Practice

english listening practice

Level: All levels

Divided into five categories (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, British and American English), this free app is fantastic if you want a daily dose of English listening.

It includes listening comprehension exercises, vocabulary lists, subtitles, among other cool features.

6-Minute English

english listening practice

Level: Intermediate

If you want to practice listening to the British accent while you learn about hundreds of interesting topics like food, stress, new technologies, mermaids, space or fashion, this app is for you.

All you need to do is download the app and have six minutes of your time to learn English!

If the content of the app isn’t enough for you, you can access all the pre-September 2014 episodes on the BBC Learning English website.

English Listening and Speaking

english listening practice

Level: All levels

English Listening and Speaking is a free app where you can find hundreds of audios divided by level and topic.

What makes this app unique is that you can practice your listening skills both online and offline.

It also includes transcripts, exercises, games and even pronunciation practice!

Advanced English Listening

english listening practice

Level: All levels

Advanced English Listening is, in fact, an app for English learners of every level.

The app includes hundreds of lessons with downloadable audio, transcripts, Google translations, listening comprehension tests and more.

You can also download the transcript and exercises of each lesson as a PDF document.

Audiobooks

english listening practice

Level: Upper-intermediate to advanced

If you enjoy listening to full audiobooks, you’re going to love this app.

The selection of books is fantastic, as there are thousands of them! But that’s not the only thing Audiobooks has to offer.

The app also allows you to download your favorite audiobooks so you can listen to them offline. If you don’t have time to listen to a full story, you can always visit the Podcasts section.

More Recommendations

Listen Up! 7 Amazing English Listening Apps You Can’t Miss Out On in 2022 by Archita Mittra

7 English Pronunciation Apps to Speak Clear, Confident English in 2022 by Archita Mittra

Online Platforms and Websites

Listen A Minute

english listening practice

Level: Upper-beginner to intermediate

Listen A Minute is a simple website that includes hundreds of short listening clips.

Each audio is followed by a lot of activities to help you master the topic.

All the recordings are in British English.

Learnenglishfunway.com

english listening practice

Level: Upper-beginner to intermediate

Sometimes all you need is a lot of short stories read by native speakers in “slow-but-not-very-slow” English. That’s exactly what the listening section of Learnenglishfunway.com has to offer.

There aren’t any other features besides the audio and the transcript there, but if you want to learn more English, you can visit the other sections on the site.

ELLLO

english listening practice

Level: All levels

The English Listening Lesson Library Online (ELLLO) is a wonderful place where everything revolves around practicing your English listening comprehension.

There are over 3,000 audio clips divided into seven big categories. Among this huge collection, you’ll find audio lessons with native speakers, short audios with foreign learners speaking English, audio-based grammar lessons and idiom lessons.

The site has level codes so you can easily find the videos for your level.

My favorite category is “Mixer.” Mixer lessons have six different foreign speakers giving answers to the same questions.

Breaking News English

english listening practice

Level: All levels

Breaking News English has over 3,000 English lessons that have been carefully designed to help you learn English with fun and interesting news.

Choose a level on the piece of news you want to read or go directly to the list of news from your level.

After that, click on any of the options in the “Listen” section and start learning!

TalkEnglish

english listening practice

Level: All levels

TalkEnglish offers three levels (Basic, Intermediate and Advanced) with 34 audio lessons each.

Each lesson is divided into three easy steps: Listen to the dialogue, answer the quiz questions and read the dialogue, if you want the extra practice!

You can download all the audio for a one-time payment.

British Council

english listening practice

Level: A1-C1 of the CEFR

You can now tell your friends you’re learning English with the British Council for free and you won’t be lying!

Just choose your level, pick a topic you like and start the lesson.

Each lesson includes a preparation task, a short dialogue and listening tasks.

Esl-lounge.com

english listening practice

Level: All levels

Esl-lounge.com is a website that includes hundreds of listening comprehension exercises divided into five categories: Beginner, Pre-Intermediate, Intermediate, Advanced and Business English.

Once you choose your category, you’ll see a list of audio lessons. They each come with a brief description, the grammar used and the English variety of the audio. 

For each lesson, you can choose to listen while reading the transcript or listen and take a quiz.

Speechling

english listening practice

Level: All levels

If you think dictations are boring, that’s because you don’t know Speechling.

In the Settings box right under Dictation Practice, choose the variety of English you want to practice, the gender of the speaker and the category/level/topic you want. Now you’re ready to practice your listening comprehension skills!

The best part is that you get immediate feedback after each short dictation.

DailyStep English

english listening practice

Level: All levels

With DailyStep English, you can improve your listening comprehension skills gradually—from the very beginning of your language journey to the very end.

The audio lessons for beginners include just a couple of sentences, while the audio clips for advanced learners can be up to two minutes long.

Each lesson includes two audio versions, one in British English and one in American English.

You get five free lessons, one for each level. If you like the learning method, you’ll have to buy a lesson plan. 

Randall’s ESL Cyber Listening Lab

english listening practice

Level: All levels

This superb website is a listening lab for everyone whose main learning focus is listening to English.

All the activities included on the site are audio-based. You can choose among different levels of difficulty, as well as categories such as culture, vocabulary and academic English.

LyricsTraining

english listening practice

Level: All levels

If you love music and want to use your favorite songs for listening practice, LyricsTraining is all you need.

By using fill-in-the-blank exercises, LyricsTraining can transform every song into an English listening lesson.

Just search for the song you want to practice with, choose a level of difficulty and press play! 

The English We Speak

english listening practice

Level: Intermediate

BBC’s The English We Speak is a section inside the BBC’s Learn English website.

The section tries to make English interesting for teenagers and young people through audio clips of under three minutes.

This site is perfect for you if you want to learn real British slang.

IDEA

english listening practice

Level: Advanced

The International Dialects of English Archive (IDEA) isn’t a website created for learners of English—it’s an encyclopedia of English dialects and accents from all around the world.

I recommend this site for advanced learners who are looking for a real challenge. The site includes hundreds of native and foreign English speakers who speak different dialects and accents of English.

English Grammar

Level: Advanced

If you’re an advanced English learner looking for listening exercises designed specifically for your level, the English Grammar site will be your new favorite place.

Choose the type of listening exercise you want to do and pick a topic from the list.

Have fun!

More Recommendations

8 Websites with Test Practice to Pump Up Your English Listening Skills by Brandon Harville

17 Interactive ESL Listening Websites to Fit Any Student’s Mood by Madeline Wolfe

Podcasts

Podcastsinenglish.com

english listening practice

Level: Upper-beginner to advanced

Podcastsinenglish.com is a collection of hundreds of downloadable podcasts created for learners of ESL (English as a Second Language) and EFL (English as a Foreign Language) students.

Each episode is a natural conversation between two native speakers about a random topic. The conversation usually lasts about three minutes.

Luke’s English Podcast

english listening practice

Level: Intermediate to advanced

Luke, the podcast host, is an English teacher and a stand-up comedian from London.

He uses his background to teach you English in a professional way while allowing you to have lots of fun.

There are over 740 episodes, with each lasting between 45 to 60 minutes.

Happy English Podcast

Level: All levels

Practice your American English listening comprehension while you learn about phrasal verbs, tricky vocabulary words, idioms and grammar.

Presented by Michael DiGiacomo, this podcast has almost 600 episodes that range from 4 to 10 minutes.

Rough Translation

english listening practice

Level: Advanced

Rough Translation is a podcast for the brave, both psychologically and linguistically speaking.

In other words, this is a podcast for advanced learners who want to practice their English skills while listening to people from all backgrounds talking about social issues and hardships.

Adept English Podcast

Level: All levels

With over 475 episodes, the Adept English Podcast is focused on teaching people English through listening.

Although many episodes cover everyday topics such as gardens, travel, spring and marathons, some discuss more challenging subjects like mRNA, space, autism and psychology.

The podcast also includes many episodes on English grammar, idioms, phrasal verbs and pronunciation.

While this podcast is great for all levels, complete beginners might find some episodes hard to follow if they don’t check the transcripts.

Down to Business English

english listening practice

Level: Upper-intermediate to advanced

This interesting podcast will teach you business English with the help of business news from all around the world.

The hosts analyze the news and teach you related vocabulary and expressions, grammar and cultural differences in the world of business.

Stuff You Should Know

english listening practice

Level: Upper-intermediate to advanced

A podcast for curious minds, Stuff You Should Know will tell you everything you’ve always wanted to know but never thought to ask about random things—from alligators, the Statue of Liberty and free speech to sarcasm, hurricanes and ketchup. 

Better@English

english listening practice

Level: Intermediate to upper-intermediate

Better@English is a podcast created specifically for ESL and EFL students.

Even though the aim is to improve your listening comprehension, you’ll actually improve your other English skills as well if you use all the free features of each episode.

This podcast is mainly for intermediates, but there are materials for beginners and advanced learners on the site, too.

Zapp! English

english listening practice

Level: Intermediate to advanced

This is a very good place to practice English listening comprehension while you build up your vocabulary. The hosts do an excellent job of including useful words and phrases related to the topic of each episode.

The audios can be downloaded for free, but you have to subscribe if you want the transcriptions.

Passenger List

english listening practice

Level: Advanced

Flight 702 is missing. It disappeared somewhere between London and New York.

I have no more info except for a few audio files and a website where you can help solve the mystery.

You Are Not So Smart

english listening practice

Level: Advanced

You Are Not So Smart is a psychological/scientific/social/political podcast that’s as difficult to categorize as it’s delicious to listen to.

Learn about reason, decision-making, vaccines, judgment, conspiracy theories, intelligence, narcissism and a whole lot of other super interesting topics if you’re up for it!

99% Invisible

english listening practice

Level: Advanced

A podcast about design and architecture isn’t what we normally listen to when we try to practice our listening skills, but that’s the reason I’m including 99% Invisible on this list.

If you’re an advanced English learner and want to push your limits, give this challenging podcast a try.

More Recommendations

17 English Podcasts Every English Learner Should Listen To by Alan Park

12 Native English Podcasts for Learning English by Alan Park

Radio Stations

KQED Radio

english listening practice

Level: Upper-intermediate to advanced

Based in San Francisco, KQED Radio was created to “inform, inspire and involve,” which is actually their motto.

It’s a public radio station that focuses mainly on local news, although they also cover national and international news.

KQED Radio’s podcasts are high-quality and very well produced. I especially recommend MindShift.

WAMU (American University Radio)

english listening practice

Level: Upper-intermediate to advanced

WAMU is based in Washington and focuses mainly on politics and education news.

You can listen to their live radio 24/7. You can check out the complete list 0f all their shows or give any of their fantastic podcasts a try.

BBC Sounds

english listening practice

Level: Intermediate to advanced

BBC Sounds is a fantastic collection of sounds of every kind, mainly in British English.

From music, news and sports to science, relaxation and documentaries, everything is covered in their hundreds of programs. 

WNYC (New York Public Radio)

english listening practice

Level: Intermediate to advanced

Also a public radio station, WNYC specializes in news, technology, culture, media, events and music.

Have a look at their long list of shows to check out the schedule, or just click on any of their live streams to see what’s on.

More Recommendations

Learn English with Radio in 10 Steps (You Won’t Want to Turn Off These Great English Stations!) by Victoria Zurakowski

Learn English with the Radio: 13 Great Shows + 4 Steps to Use Them by Dhritiman Ray

Tasty Streaming Platforms and Video Resources

Netflix|Hulu|Amazon Prime Video|Disney+

english listening practice

Level: All levels

These four are just a small example of all the streaming platforms available online at the moment.

It doesn’t really matter which of them you subscribe to. The important thing is how you use them to get an amazing English listening session.

If you want to make the most out of streaming platforms, pick shows originally in English.

Watch them with subtitles so you can follow along with the dialogue. You can always pause and rewind the video if there’s something you don’t understand!

TED Talks & TEDEd

english listening practice

Level: Upper-beginner to advanced

TED Talks contains thousands of videos of up to 20-minute talks given by professionals and normal people like you and me.

They talk about their experience on a given topic, share their thoughts and try to deliver a message that’s always inspiring and thought-provoking.

Out of all the talks I’ve watched in my life, Tim Urban’s “Inside the mind of a master procrastinator” is my favorite.

TEDEd is focused on teaching. Instead of people talking about their life experiences, each video or animation is a short lesson that tries to teach you something new.

With TEDEd, you’ll be able to practice your listening skills while you actually learn about what you love.

If you want more, you can always click on the “Think,” “Dig Deeper” and “Discuss” tabs to take quizzes, participate in discussions and see more related content.

English Club TV

Levels: All levels

English Club TV is an educational channel that focuses on teaching English through TV programs. 

There are thousands of videos you can watch if you buy a subscription. You can also check out these three live streams that cover topics for kids and adults of all levels.

More Recommendations

The 10 Most Entertaining TV Series That Can Teach You British English by Stephanie Windle

The Top 19 American TV Mega Hits for Learning English by Dhritiman Ray

Learn English with TV Shows (2-for-1!): The 10 Best Series with American and British Versions by Yuliya Geikhman

Love Watching Netflix? Learn English at the Same Time with These 8 Shows and Movies by Camille Turner

YouTube Channels

EnglishClass101

Level: All levels

EnglishClass101 is one of the best YouTube channels to learn English on the platform.

Their English comprehension practice videos are divided into levels from absolute beginner to advanced, complete with lots of listening exercises.

Learn English American

Level: Beginner to upper-intermediate

Learn English American is a YouTube channel that focuses on teaching listening and speaking skills to American English learners.

The videos are divided by level. They focus on everyday topics, easy conversations and dialogues.

Everything that’s said can be read on-screen.

English7Levels

Level: All levels

English7Levels allows you to practice English listening through stories, conversations and even a fun mini-series.

The videos specifically devoted to listening comprehension go up in difficulty as you level up. 

The first level, or “Level 0,” is missing from their YouTube channel, but you can access it on their website.

Oxford Online English

Level: All levels

Imagine attending a real British language school from the comfort of your home.

That’s possible with Oxford Online English, a YouTube channel created by real teachers where you’ll find over 200 videos that are great for grammar-oriented listening sessions.

EnglishAnyone

Level: Intermediate to advanced

EnglishAnyone is a YouTube channel anyone can use to improve all their English language skills.

There’s a list of videos for advanced students to improve their listening comprehension. Feel free to check out the speaking videos as well since the “Master English Conversation” playlist is also wonderful for an entertaining listening session.

More Recommendations

Get More from English Videos! 8 Sites and YouTube Channels for English Videos with Subtitles by Cailey Johanna

Pure Edutainment: 14 YouTube Series to Learn and Love English by Dhritiman Ray

The Best Way to Learn English with YouTube: Enjoy 12 Fun English Channels for Learners by Qyunh Nyugen

7 YouTube Channels to Boost Your Corporate English Skills by Lucy Brooks

Listening + Reading Resources

If you specifically need listening plus reading practice, these five resources encourage you to work on both skills at the same time.

Voice of America

Level: All levels

english listening practice

Voice of America has been devoted to teaching English to students around the world for over six decades.

They gather national and international news and transform them into lessons you can watch or listen and read at the same time.

The lessons are divided into beginning, intermediate and advanced levels.

ESL Fast

Level: Beginner

english listening practice

Practicing your listening skills with ESL Fast is super easy. Pick any of the 25 offered topics and then choose the conversation you want to listen to. There are over 1,500 of them!

The conversations are short and simple, so every learner with a basic knowledge of English will be able to enjoy them.

Scientific American Podcasts

Level: Upper-intermediate to advanced

english listening practice

The Scientific American journal has tons of podcast episodes on every scientific topic you could imagine.

Most episodes last between 10 to 20 minutes, but there are some that are only a couple of minutes long.

I recommend you subscribe to the “60-Second Science” series.

LibriVox

Level: Upper-intermediate to advanced

english listening practice

LibriVox makes books in the public domain available in the form of free audiobooks.

The audiobook catalog is huge, but you can explore it by searching for an author, book title, genre or subject.

The free audiobooks also come with transcripts.

Lit2Goenglish listening practice

Level: Intermediate to advanced

Lit2Go is a collection of poems and stories you can listen to and read for free.

It’s similar to LibriVox where you can download all the content free of charge. However, you’ll need written permission in some cases.

The whole site is amazing, but I especially love the “Mathematics” collection.

 

There you go! A single post with hundreds of English listening resources, most of them for free!

Listening comprehension is often overlooked by teachers and language learners, which makes understanding English more difficult in the long run.

Avoid this by practicing your listening skills for at least five minutes every day. You’ll thank yourself very soon!

 

Stay curious, my friends, and as always, happy listening!


Francisco J. Vare loves teaching and writing about grammar. He’s a proud language nerd, and you’ll normally find him learning languages, teaching students or reading. He’s been writing for FluentU for many years and is one of their staff writers.



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