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11 English Story Listening Sites That Will Feed Your Ears

Stories provide a fun and interesting way to learn English.

Fortunately, there are some amazing resources online where you can listen to all kinds of tales.

In this post, you will find 11 of the best online resources to use when you want to listen to English stories.

Contents

1. Storynory

storynory

Price: £2.99 (approximately US$3.70)

Available on: iOS | Android

Storynory is an amazing website that offers free audio stories. Their stories are divided by  genre (type): fairy tales, classics, myths and legends, poems, original stories and more.

Every audio recording is accompanied by a  transcript (written version of the audio) that you can review. Some stories even offer related educational material for further practice.

The site was originally created for kids, but it is also great for adults learning English because all of the materials are level-appropriate.

2. Digitalbook.io

digitalbook

Price: Free

Available on: Website

Digitalbook.io is a site that offers tons of free audiobooks for English learners to download or listen to directly on the site.

The website provides a  synopsis (summary) of each story and the corresponding English level (easy, intermediate and difficult), so you know exactly what to expect.

3. StoryCorps

storycorps

Price: Free

Available on: iOS | Android

StoryCorps is a project created by an organization that interviews Americans from all backgrounds for their stories.

You can listen to different people talking about their lives, which exposes you to a wide range of accents and vocabulary. You can find stories based on  themes (topics) such as the military and African-American history.

Typically, these stories range from a few minutes to 12 minutes long. That means they are short enough to listen to  in one sitting (in a short time without stopping). Many of the stories are accompanied by beautiful animation, photos and other great-looking visuals.

4. Stories to Grow By

stories-to-grow-by

Price: Free

Available on: iOS

This site was originally created for kids, which means that the stories’ English level is simple and appropriate for ESL learners.

Stories to Grow By offers free audiobooks of classic fairy tales and fables (stories that have a lesson). Each recording also comes with transcripts.

The stories are usually around 15 minutes long and do not require any preparation ahead of time.

5. Open Culture

open-culture

Price: Free

Available on: Website

Open Culture has an  enormous (very big) list of free audiobooks divided into three categories: fiction & literature, poetry and nonfiction.

Each list is sorted according to their authors’ names. The content includes longer books, shorter stories, fables and more.

The list tells you exactly how each audiobook is available—through iTunes, Spotify, streaming, .mp3 download, etc. Some of these great stories are even read aloud by their original author.

6. Easy Stories in English

easy-stories-in-english

Price: Free

Available on: Spotify | Apple Podcasts

Easy Stories in English is another site created specifically for ESL learners. The stories are divided into four different levels, so you can easily find what you need.

Transcripts of the stories are available, and the site has shorter stories and longer books. The stories are divided into chapters, so each recording is no longer than 15 minutes.

7. ENGLISH CRUNCH

english-crunch

Price: Free

Available on: YouTube

The video stories on this channel can be as short as five minutes or as long as 40 minutes. Most of the videos have a difficulty rating from Levels 1 to 5 (the easiest to the most difficult), making it easier to pick the ones that suit your preferences.

I like that you can listen and read along with the text in the videos and that the videos come with beautiful  illustrations (drawings). 

8. English Easy Practice

english-easy-practice

Price: Free

Available on: Website | YouTube

Similar to ENGLISH CRUNCH, English Easy Practice videos are accompanied by text and  stunning (surprising in a good way) visuals.

English Easy Practice goes a little further and adds English lessons to some of the stories. For example, you can listen and learn about the English tenses at the same time.

The videos are divided into chapters, so you can easily jump to the sections you want to concentrate or focus on.

9. DailyDictation

dailydictation

Price: Free

Available on: Website

Dictation is the act of saying things out loud so that they will be written down. The process of writing down dictation is known as transcription , which is what you will be doing on this website.

If you click “Listen & Type” on any story, you will be asked to type what you hear. In case the audio is too fast or too slow, you can adjust the speed by clicking the box that says “1x” and choosing the number you want under “Audio speed.”

You can also click “Listen & Read” and (as the name implies) listen to the audio while you read the words shown on the screen. 

10. LearnEnglish Kids: Short stories

british-council

Price: Free

Available on: Website

This resource is brought to you by the British Council, one of the leading organizations in  promoting (supporting) English language education around the world.

Before you listen to the audio content, the website recommends that you complete the “Preparation” tasks first. After that, you can play the game right below the story, download the files under “Documents” or answer the question(s) under “Discussion.”

If you end up liking LearnEnglish’s content, you can also  tune in (listen) to their podcasts aimed at learners at the A2 (upper beginner) and B1 (lower intermediate) levels.

11. FluentU

Price: See pricing page here

Available on: iOS | Android

FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

It uses a natural approach that helps you ease into the English language and culture over time. You’ll learn English as it’s spoken in real life.

FluentU has a variety of engaging content from popular talk shows, nature documentaries and funny commercials, as you can see here:

-learn-english-with-videos

FluentU makes it really easy to watch English videos. There are captions that are interactive. That means you can tap on any word to see an image, definition and useful examples.

learn-english-with-captioned-television-show-clips

For example, when you tap on the word "searching," you'll see this:

learn-english-with-interactive-subtitled-dialogue

Learn all the vocabulary in any video with quizzes. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning.

practice-english-with-adaptive-quizzes

The best part is that FluentU keeps track of the vocabulary that you’re learning and gives you extra practice with difficult words. It even reminds you when it’s time to review! Every learner has a truly personalized experience, even if they’re learning with the same video.

Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

  FluentU Ad

How to Learn by Listening to English Stories

There are plenty of ways you can get more out of your English listening time.

For starters, you can listen to the same story multiple times. Repetition is a great way to understand and memorize important English words and concepts.

Try focusing on the main idea of the story first. See if you can decipher (figure out) what the theme or main plot of the story is about.

Then, when you listen a second time, practice listening for specific details. One way to do this is to complete fill-in-the-blank exercises while you listen. This activity will train your ear to catch specific words being said.

If you are someone who prefers writing things down, take notes while you listen to the story.  Jot down (write down) things that you think are important to the story or words that you did not understand and plan to look up in your dictionary later.

Also, keeping a vocabulary journal can be extremely helpful when you are learning a language. When you have a journal of new words, you can refer back to them if you need more practice. It also gives you a physical way to assess your progress during your listening time.

Lastly, after you have listened to the story a few times, download the transcript (if it is available) and read it. You can either do this on your own or read along while you listen to the audio recording of the story again. This will ensure that you understand exactly what you are hearing and will clear up any words or phrases you do not know how to spell.

 

To make a long story short, you now have all the resources you need to go out and listen to some fantastic English stories!

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