Learn English : Listen!
If your computer does not already have software for listening to sound (audio) files, you may need to download it. The most common player is RealOne. Instructions about how to download a free version of this player are shown here
Even if you are living outside the UK, you should be able to listen to British radio stations through the internet. This is a good way to study English before coming to the UK or after you have returned to your home country.
Free sound (audio) files are available on some websites. These can be played back several times if you don't understand everything first time. Sites which also provide written versions of the sound files (known as transcripts) are particularly useful for studying English.
Listening to the radio can be a good way of improving your listening skills. You may learn most by listening to the spoken word channels; you can try recording programmes and playing them back several times. Some of the most popular British radio stations are shown below. The radio frequency is shown, together with an internet link (you can to listen to most channels online, anywhere in the world):
Spoken word (news, debate)
- BBC Radio 4 (news, debate): (92.4-94.6 FM):
- BBC World Service (648 MW):
- BBC London (94.9 FM):
- LBC (97.3 FM):
- LBC News (1152 MW):
BBC channels are paid for by the TV licence, but you need to buy a licence even if you don't watch these channels. ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 are commercial channels and are paid for by showing advertisements between programmes.Additional satellite TV or cable TV channels, paid for by subscriptions, are broadcast by Sky.
Newspapers list programmes for today, and many also produce a free weekly guide to television programmes (usually as part of Saturday or Sunday editions).
In London, the Thursday edition of the Evening Standard comes with a free weekly entertainment guide (including TV) called Metro Life.
In the UK, most programmes on the main television channels can be seen with the words shown at the bottom of the screen (to help people who cannot hear well). To access this, you need a television with Teletext; use page 888. In newspaper or magazine television schedules, the programmes with Teletext sub-titles are often marked with a * or (T). Teletext sub-titles will not appear if you watch a recorded programme. Some programmes on Sky satellite channels also have a text service (Sky Text).
If you have access to a DVD player or video cassette recorder (VCR), you can study English by watching DVDs or videos which you record yourself, borrow from a library or a friend, rent from a rental shop, or buy from a shop.
If you are not in the UK, you may be able to see British channels through satellite or cable TV. Ask your provider which channels are available (you may be able to access British channels such as BBC World).
CASSETTE TAPES / CDs
Books are sometimes available in spoken format. "Readers" consist of a book and a matching cassette tape or CD, set at different levels of English ability. Many books for studying English have tapes which can be bought separately.
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