Saturday, March 3, 2007

What ever the political leanings of VOA, there are benefits to English learners

I know that the Voice of America programing has some questionable political history. Please put your feelings aside and visit their Special English area and recommend it to your English learner friends.

Three Elements Make Special English Unique

It has a core vocabulary of 1500 words. Most are simple words that describe objects, actions or emotions. Some words are more difficult. They are used for reporting world events and describing discoveries in medicine and science.

The writers use short, simple sentences that contain only one idea. They use active voice. They do not use idioms.

Special English broadcasters read at a slower pace, about two-thirds the speed of standard English. This helps people learning English hear each word clearly. It also helps people who are fluent English speakers understand complex subjects

With computer headphones the listener can read the stories and reports word for word. This is a wonderful tool that helps learners maintain exposure to clearly spoken American English.

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