Looking for the best English listening practice websites? The great thing about learning English is that there’s so much material to listen to. For a start, the internet is in English! For instance, if you want to find a podcast to listen to, you can just type the topic you’re interested in into the search bar of a podcasting app and you’re off!
You can go on a streaming app and start binge watching TV series in English. The algorithm is so smart that it will start suggesting TV series that you’ll like. And of course, YouTube has more video content in English than you could watch in 100 lifetimes.
But if you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that just listening to English is not enough if you want to understand fast-talking native speakers.
So that’s why in this post I’m introducing you to four English listening practice websites that will train your ears to catch fast speech. That way, when you do watch a TV show or listen to a podcast, it will be a easier for you to understand.
So let’s get into it.
By the way, if you’re struggling to understand native speakers when they talk fast, I recommend Movies on the Run, an audio course that will teach 10 English listening skills secrets through movie quotes.
Tubequizard is a website where you can create listening quizzes with subtitled YouTube videos. It was created by an English teacher, Olya Sergeeva, who noticed that even advanced learners still struggle to catch the small, grammatical words in English.
The focus in Tubequizard is on helping you to catch all these small words that you already know, but that can be hard to catch. So you’ll work on grammatical words like “a” and “the” or particular sounds of English, such as the “t” and “d” sounds that tend to disappear from the ends of words.
You can work with the videos already on the website such as celebrity interviews. And even better, if you have a YouTube video that you want to work with and it’s subtitled, you can create quizzes with that video.
At the end of each quiz you get a score to see how you did and you can check your answers. You can then continue doing quizzes about that topic or try a quiz on a different feature of fast speech. You can also search for quizzes by English level, accent and more.
#2 Breaking News English
Breaking News English lets you train your ears with the news. You may already be familiar with Breaking News English as it’s a site that’s been around for a long time where you can read simplified news in English for learners.
You can also find a ton of reading, grammar, listening and vocabulary activities to go with each article. My favourite activity in the listening section is dictation for obvious reasons.
You listen to a short extract from the article and you type out what you hear. If you get stuck, you can click the “hint” button. And when you’re ready, you can click “check” to check your answer.
Doing dictations will help you become more aware of how words sound in fast speech and how they join together when we speak.
My only criticism is that these dictations are a little slow and sometimes a little unnatural. But they’re a great place to start if you’ve never tried doing this kind of active listening task before.
#3 Listening Practice
On ListeningPractice you’ll find sentences to transcribe. You can listen at different speeds and you have the possibility to translate the sentences into your language.
The website has actually moved and now there’s a new site called Linguno that’s in beta mode. It’s the same principle, but with a nicer interface and some new features.
Once you’ve typed out a sentence, you can click a button to tell the site if it was hard or easy for you. The next sentence you get will be adapted to your level.
You can also select a difficulty level before you start and you have the option to listen to recordings from literary texts if you want something a bit more challenging.
#4 Lyrics Training
And finally, something a bit more fun – lyricstraining, where you train your ears with songs. There’s a web version as well as a smartphone version for Android and iOs. There are 13 languages available, including English. You can also put the website in English, French or Spanish.
The actual activity you do on lyricstraining is pretty classic – you listen to a song and then fill in the gaps. So it’s a bit like karaoke but with gaps in the lyrics. You also have the option to put it into “choice” mode so that instead of typing the word, you choose from the options on the screen. Singing along is optional of course.
You can search for songs by genre so there’s something for everyone. You can also select different levels so there are more gaps or fewer gaps. At expert level you have to fill out all the gaps! You can print out the lyrics with or without gaps to work offline if you prefer.
After you create a free account, you’ll have access to more features such as adding songs to favourites so you can come back to them. But you can use the web version without creating an account to try it out.
Best English Listening Practice Websites
So there you have it – the 4 best English listening practice websites that will train your ears to catch fast speech.
These ear training websites will make it easier for you to understand fast spoken English. So the next time you watch your favourite TV series, listen to a podcast or chat to a native speaker, it should be easier.
Even better, when you catch words and expressions in fast English, you can then use them when you speak English to sound more natural.
So tell me, are you going to use any of the listening practice websites on this list? Are there any other ones you would recommend? Let me know in a comment below.
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