With so many resources available to you online, it can be hard to figure out which ones you should spend your time on. YouTube offers a ton of great English learning channels that each put a unique spin on the learning process. One of these channels is Voice of America (VOA) Learning English. What are the features that make this channel stand out, you ask?
VOA’s approach to learning English is to offer real-world videos that not only teach the viewer how to speak English, but also gives them an inside look on a new culture. With VOA, you learn through the news.
Reports refers to a variety of playlists on the channel, including Technology Report, Health Report, Agriculture Report, Education Report, and Economics Report. These videos offer you relevant information on each of these topics from all over the world, educating you in both English and the current issues arising in the topics. All videos feature subtitles in English to help guide you through the report.
Lifestyles is a playlist which features more casual aspects of American life, helping to get you more acquainted with an English-speaking culture as you better your skills. These are shot in a more field reporting way, with English-speakers involved in the activity being interviewed. Like the reports, all dialogue is paired with captions. Another benefit is hearing the different tones of voice and inflections that natural English speakers use in conversation as opposed to slowed-down and carefully pronounced reports that are catered towards a beginner’s ear.
Conversation Practice is the title of one of the playlists on the channel. The playlist strays away from the report and interview styles of the other videos and features various ESL learners from all over the world speaking about their views and opinions on a wide range of topics, some serious, like preventing terrorism, and others more lighthearted, like the Superbowl. Some of the videos in this playlist also focus on some of the more troublesome issues with pronunciation and vocabulary comprehension.
Not only do these videos help you with your English learning, but they expose you to various outlooks from all over the world on important social, and cultural issues. You get to hear from people all over the world, facing very different realities, who share a common goal in improving their English language abilities.
Their website has even more to offer if you’ve liked what you’ve seen on the Youtube channel. Besides the videos, the website offers tons of news podcasts that you can either stream on your computer or download to listen to wherever you go! They also offer a pronunciation guide, English word book, and the "Confessions of an English Learner" writing prompt, where you can practice your writing and give and receive feedback from fellow learners.
Photo Credit: college.library