Hey guys, it's Kerstin here - your new editor at Fluent! Well, really I'm still just Kerstin from Fluent, the Language Learning Blog, but I want to take a second and celebrate our new writers. I hope you like their contributions so far!
Today I just want to share a website with you that I've recently discovered. It's called AudioLingua and offers free native speaker audio on everyday topics and in 10 languages. What an absolute gem.
You can search the tracks by language, level, gender of the speaker, age of the speaker and their length. They are all submitted by real people, so that means natural language content and relevant topics and expressions. Here's an example in German at B1 level:
Using AudioLingua As A Tutor
In my own sessions, I've used the A1 content from different examples to practice listening with students. I left them to listen to various examples a few times, and then asked:
What do you know about the speaker?
When working with a student in 1 to 1, I have the great advantage that I can figure out exactly what they understood. I repeat difficult sections as many times as necessary and focus on specific words, giving hints and explaining as we go along. This way I can try and help students to find as much of the meaning as possible.
After discussing the text, I also put in some comprehension exercises such as "Did the speaker say she lives in Berlin?" and so on.
Depending on the level you're working with, these can also be great prompts for writing homework or for asking a student to prepare a spoken response.
How to Use AudioLingua As An Independent Learner
If you haven't got a teacher or language partner on hand, the most important thing is to remember that you have time - this means no skimming and no "I get the gist".
A few suggestions:
- Select tracks at your level on the CEFR
- Before you listen to a track, look at the description and note the themes, try and remember words you know about this subject and say them out loud
- Have the first listen
- Listen again, this time pausing the track and trying to make notes
- On your third listen, things should start coming together. Now, I'd recommend that you type up your notes in a transcript and post them to a native speaking friend, a teacher or the community on italki to check yourself
Of course there is also a great option of downloading every track, so you'll be able to use them as podcasts on the go. Repeat the input more than you think is necessary - this sounds odd, but trust me that you should begin to get bored before you have really learnt the language.
Any native speaker can become a language teacher with AudioLingua. You can support this great project by recording yourself as you read out a simple text in your native language, and sending it to the AudioLingua project. Please go to this page to read the manual and the submission form. For such a great resource, I hope you'll find the time to submit a recording. I know I definitely will!
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