LEARNING, USING & TEACHING ENGLISH

Mike Nix's website

Self-Study Resources

Ideas, and links to online materials and resources to help you plan and do your own out-of-class English study. Updated 18th August, 2008.

 

News in English

News Stories from CNN and CBS news in the US, with a news story each week. You can read, listen to and watch a video for each story. Every story has a simplifed 'abridged version' as well as vocabulary and comprehension exercises, and you can quickly check the meaning of any word in a story in an online dictionary. You can also find past news stories in the following categories:

Voice of American Special English World News in clear, slow, simplified English. Each 30-minute program includes a daily news broadcast plus two feature programs. You can also find and read Voice of America new stories on the same topics.

Monthly topical news lessons Simplified news stories at three levels - elementary, intermediate, and advanced - based on stories in the Guardian Weekly newspaper. Each lesson includes the simplified news story and vocabulary and comprehensin exercises witht he answers at the end. From onestopenglish.com.

Voice of America English News Homepage Read world news stories and listen to live world news or the latest world news summary. This site makes it easy to listen and read about the same news stories.

NPR News Read and listen to U.S and international news on National Public Radio.

ABC News, Read stories, watch videos and download podcasts on U.S and international news.

BBC News Read, watch and listen to news stories from Britain and around the world.

The Guardian British newspaper.

International Herald Tribune U.S and international news stories from the New York Times.

The Australian newspaper.

The Japan Times Read about Japanese and international news in English. You will need to register to read the stories - it's free but takes about 3 minutes to do.

The Asahi Shimbun Japanese and world news in English.

Words in the News Simplifed news stories that you can read and listen to, with explanations of the important/difficult vocabulary. General news, business and arts & sports stories are added every week, and there is an archive of stories back to 2003. From BBC Learning English.

Breaking News English Simplified versions of recent news stories that you can read and/or listen to. After the text of each news story, there are exercises designed for teachers to use with students in class but you could also use them for self-study practice.


 

Reading

Read stories in easy English Borrow graded readers from the Law Faculty Resource Center. Graded readers are books in which the level of the English is kept simple so you can read quickly to enjoy the story without using a dictionary. Books are available at different levels from Level 1 to level 6, so you can choose a level that is easy for you . You can borrow these books and take them home with you and also listen to cassettes of the stories in the Resource Center. Click here to download a list of books and cassettes available. Other books and casettes/MDs can be directly borrowed from Mike Nix.

Lit2Go is a free online collection of books, short stories, poems, fairy tales, nursery rhymes and speeches and other things to read and listen to. For books, you can access one chapter at a time. You can: view the text for each reading online or download it as a pdf file, and listen online or download it to listen to on an iPod or Mp3 player. Reading levels vary from 1.0 (easiest) to 12.0 (most difficult), and text length varies from a few words (in a nursry rhyme) to full-length books. You can search for things to read by title, author, reading level, key words, and or browse by authors and titles. From Florida Educational Technology Cearing House.

News Stories from CNN and CBS news in the US, with a news story each week. You can read, listen to and watch a video for each story. Every story has a simplifed 'abridged version' as well as vocabulary and comprehension exercises, and you can quickly check the meaning of any word in a story in an online dictionary. You can also find past news stories in the following categories:

 

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Developing Your Vocabulary

Search the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary for English-English definitions and clear examples of how words are used. You can also use the Select another dictionary to go to other Cambridge dictionaries such as the Dictionary of American English.

Mirriam Webster Visual Dictionary Online A great dictionary of American English with pictures of all the items in the dictionary. You can also listen to the standard American English pronunication of each word. Search for words in the A-Z index (top left of the main page) or look at vocabulary in themes such as animal kingdom, arts and architecture, communications, earth, energy, and society. Here's an example page on different ball sports from the sports & games theme You can also test your vocabulary knowledge with a different game every week.

 

Listening

News Stories from CNN and CBS news in the US, with a news story each week. You can read, listen to and watch a video for each story. Every story has a simplifed 'abridged version' as well as vocabulary and comprehension exercises, and you can quickly check the meaning of any word in a story in an online dictionary. You can also find past news stories in the following categories:

The Flatmates A weekly soap opera (drama) about four people and a cat who live in the same flat (apartment). Each weekly episode is about two minutes long. You can listen to the latest episode with or without the script to read, look at a language point from the episode with explanations of vocabulary and take a quiz about this week's story. There is also background information about the characters and an archive of all the previous weekly episodes. And you can discuss Flatmates online with other listeners from around the world. From BBC World Service Learning English.

Listen to Englishes around the world Worksheets and cassettes/MDs for listening to students from the following countries talking about themselves, their countries and English in their countries: Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Burma China, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, Romania, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, Thailand. To borrow these materials contact Mike Nix.

Pulse of the Planet Daily Daily Audio Program Listenings of about 2 minutes each day on science, environment and natural history topics, with the tapescript to read. Often there are several progams on different aspects of the main topic. Topics for August 2008 include tsunamis, seaweed, nuclear physics and redwood trees. The programs for the last 30 days are available free. From National Geographic.

BBC World Service Programme Highlights A selection of programmes on different topics from around the world, including:

You can listen to each programme, read a simmary of the programme, and find links on related sites and topics. At the bottom of the page, you can choose other programmes from the 'More highlights' menu.

oneworld TV Mostly short videos on global, environmental, humanitarian, and social justice issues. Click on the Featured button for some of the best videos and the In the News button for videos on current news topics.

Lit2Go is a free online collection of books, short stories, poems, fairy tales, nursery rhymes and speeches and other things to listen to and read. For books, you can access one chapter at a time. You can view the text for each reading online or download it as a pdf file, and listen online or download it to listen to on an iPod or Mp3 player. Reading levels vary from 1.0 (easiest) to 12.0 (most difficult), and text length varies from a few words (in a nursry rhyme) to full-length books. You can search for things to read by title, author, reading level, key words, and or browse by authors and titles. From Florida Educational Technology Cearing House.

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Music lyrics Find the words to songs you want to listen to at Lyrics Search Engine or SmartLyrics.com

 

Business English

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Podcasts

ABC News Podcasts Download or listen online to news podcasts and podcasts of politics and law, entertainment and health and science programs from U.S. broadcaster ABC.

  • English learning programmes such as 6 Minute English - Learn and practise useful English language for everyday situations with the BBC
  • Programmes about different parts of the world such as Africa Today - The latest African news and analysis from the BBC African News and Current Affairs
  • Business programmes such as Business Daily - Examining the big issues facing the global economy
  • Programmes on global issues such as Digital Planet - How digital technology affects our lives around the world.
  • CNN News Update
  • BBC Radio News Pod
  • NW English News - NHK World Radio Japan
  • 6 Minute English - BBC World Service
  • CNN Student News (video)
  • ABC World News (Enhanced video)

Download iTunes 7.00 for Macintosh and Windows for free.

Websites for learning English

Voice of America Special English Learn American English and Much More - Read, Listen, Learn. Programs with simplified, clear English on a range of (mostly American) topics. They have tapescripts so you can read the story before, as, or after you listen. You can search by subject or program (latest three editions for each program) and the site includes an A-Z of useful vocabulary for understanding the stories and English learning games.