TED.com has a collection of short, powerful talks (known as TED Talks) that students can watch for free. Videos cover a range of topics – from science to business to global issues. Most videos have an interactive transcript that you can use to imitate the speaker’s intonation, timing, and stress. Some recommended videos are below.
- Matt Cutts: Try Something New for 30 Days
- Barry Schwartz: The Paradox of Choice
- Gever Tulley: 5 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Kids Do
- Ken Robinson: How Schools Kill Creativity
- Isabel Allende: Tales of Passion
- Adora Svitak: What Adults Can Learn from Kids
- Sherry Turkle: Connected but Alone
- Ester Perel: Rethinking Infidelity…a talk for anyone who has ever loved
StoryCorps is an online archive of interviews from everyday people in an effort to preserve and highlight unique stories and experiences. In addition to mirroring the intonation, rhythm, and thought groups of English speakers, students can also observe and practice conversational language occurring between two or more people in the interviews. All recordings have corresponding transcripts.
- Tria Chang and Eddie Chang: A Dad Tells His Daughter About The Risk That Led Him To The Love Of His Life
- Lan Cao: A Mother on Surviving the Tet Offensive and Escaping from Vietnam
- Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Christine Grady: This Thanksgiving, the Faucis on Family and Gratitude
- Various speakers: From One Essential Worker To Another
- Various speakers: Comfort From The Kitchen
- John Lewis and Valerie Jackson: The Boy From Troy: How Dr. King Inspired A Young John Lewis
- Paru Venkat and Alagappa Rammohan: Remembering The Start Of A Lifelong Love of Books
BBC 6 Minute English is “long-running series of topical discussion and new vocabulary, brought to you by your favourite BBC Learning English presenters.” We recommended using this resource for shadowing, as well.
VOA Learning English is “multimedia source of news and information for millions of English learners worldwide.” Offering content for a range of levels, VOA Learning English material is not only a great resource to practice listening and reading skills, but also a useful tool for shadowing, a key strategy to help improve pronunciation.
This I Believe is an international organization and radio program on National Public Radio. It features contributors reading personal essays that discuss “the core values that drive their everyday lives.” To work on connected speech, thought groups, and pauses, students can listen to the audio and follow along with detailed transcripts.
The Moth aims to “promote the art and craft of storytelling and to honor and celebrate the diversity and commonality of human experience.” The audio recordings of these diverse stories, told live to audiences, are a fantastic source of authentic material to practice shadowing. Some recommended videos with transcripts are below.
- Anthony Griffith: The Best of Times, the Worst of Times
- Ophira Eisenberg: The Accident
- Aimee Mullins: A Work in Progress
- Dori Samadzai Bonner: A New Home
- Paul Knoll: 800 Heroes
- Colin Channer: To Catch A Teef
- Melanie Yazzie: Weaving Memory
- Juliette Holmes: Voting Day
The 3-Minute Thesis Competition, founded by the University of Queensland in Australia, asks students to present their research in just three minutes. It is an excellent resource for shadowing academic English and learning from speakers with strong presentation skills.
English Accent Coach contains interactive, research-informed games that help users better recognize consonant and vowel sounds. By actively listening to and correctly identifying difficult sounds, learners can also improve their pronunciation.
ElementalEnglish.com is a collection of clearly explained video and audio lessons about English, including pronunciation and grammar. The pronunciation videos are particularly helpful because of the details and the helpful visuals.
English Central is a terrific tutorial website to help students improve their speaking clarity, listening skills, reading comprehension and vocabulary. The videos are very modern and consistently updated.
Hear Names is website where you can type in a name and hear it pronounced. Users can submit names to add to the growing database if the desired name isn’t already there.