Our Blog posts
Please leave your comments and thoughts at the end of the post :)
Practise your Speaking & listening at home
This is always one of the hardest things to practise when you're not in the classroom. However, with the wonders of modern technology, there are now some very clever ways for you to work on your speaking with your computer and to get some feedback on how clearly you are speaking!
Try this amazing website where you can watch videoclips and then you have to imitate the video clip and you get feedback on how clear your speaking is. There are quite a few free clips, but then to access everything there is a monthly subscription fee:
If you like learning from authentic media but want to avoid paying a subscription, there is this nice YouTube channel:
It is not as structured as English Central, but is a great way to practise listening and improve your comprehension skills. Try out the Harry Potter clip on the home page of the channel:
Another brilliant YouTube channel is:
They have chosen some inspiring speeches and added clear and accurate subtitles to help you follow the speech. Just to get you started, this one from Steve Jobs is a brilliant, inspirational video...
If you are keen to focus on listening activities which also include comprehension activities, then ELLLO is a fantastic library of free graded listening activities for you to listen to and complete linked activities. A really nice aspect of this site is the fact that they use speakers from all over the world so you really get to hear a wide range of accents which is an important aspect to work on to improve your listening skills:
If you prefer watching more authentic video clips, then TED Talks are a must. There are so many great websites out there in the world but TED must rank up there as one of the best for the amount of valuable information it shares with the world.
One of the truly fantastic things about the TED website is firstly, the quality of the speakers and the speeches they have uploaded. And then, secondly, the surrounding content that supports the speeches. Many of the speeches have been translated into multiple languages and often with a range of educational activities to support a particular speech. This is a must subscribe website.
Here is one of my favourite videos to get you started.
It seems particularly apt in our current situation... (best viewed on this link on the TED website)
And so, lastly in this section of the blog on Speaking & Listening, let's get back to a couple more ways to develop and improve your speaking skills online.
A great website to hear examples of natural speaking by students preparing for the Cambridge or IELTS exams is on the Splendid Speaking website.
This website has been created by Cambridge examiners to give lots of examples of natural speaking with tips and techniques for the Cambridge & IELTS exams. This page in particular gives you lots of examples for different style of speaking for different parts of the speaking exam:
OK, my final link for you in this section is an interesting YouTube teacher who really gets you to focus on improving your pronunciation.
She is a British English speaker and she gives lots of great tips and strategies for improving your pronunciation focusing on specific words and thinking about phonetic sounds :)
Small language school based in Cornwall in the south-west of the UK.