Lend us your ears: Help with finding online listening resources

Writer(s): 
Thomas Boutorwick and Matthew Rooks, Department of Science and Technology, Kwansei Gakuin University

 

Both language learners and teachers are relying more and more on the Internet as a source for educational resources, and online listening sites are no exception. The quest to locate new and useful listening tools from the vast array of available websites can be akin to looking for a needle in a haystack; finding resources that are appropriate for our students, compatible with school computers, and of acceptable quality can sometimes be more trouble than the time spent searching is worth. Enter the Online Listening Resources List: a database for language teachers and students that provides a detailed, comprehensive description of online listening websites and essential information about them.

The Online Listening Resources List is easily accessible and user-friendly. The various sites are catalogued alphabetically, with readily available descriptions that inform users of suggested uses for the listening materials, available themes and content, proficiency levels, rankings, and user comments about each entry. All of the sites are hyperlinked in the list, meaning every site is just one click away.

This wiki-style database was created with the intention of it being easy to keep up to date and flexible enough to accept a wide variety of user-suggested online listening resources that are applicable to various levels, and teaching and learning styles. Over time, the Online Listening Resources List will grow, and ESL/EFL instructors will have an important place where they can go to search through a broad list of available listening materials.

Although the database is up and running, its full potential will only be realized with your help! In order to access this list, please go to <onlinelisteningresources.pbworks.com/> and click on the “Resource List” link on the home page. Signing up for pbworks takes only one minute, and it’s absolutely free and completely painless. After registering, you are free to peruse and edit the list. The list is still relatively new, so any suggestions for improving the interface, classification style, and so on are welcomed and appreciated.

The authors hope that contributions from English language educators and students throughout the world will help to make the Online Listening Resources List a valuable guide for those searching for new listening materials. If each person who hears about this list spends 5 or 10 minutes at the site adding his or her own suggestions and comments, the ESL/EFL community at large would truly benefit. So what are you waiting for? Please visit the site and make a small contribution of your time and knowledge!

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