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English listening materials (audio files mp3)



 
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English listening materials (audio files mp3) #1 (permalink) Tue Jun 13, 2006 9:28 am   English listening materials (audio files mp3)
 

Hi, below you will find two recordings that are part of a project called English Online which we ran in 2001. We are planning to create more audio files covering a variety of topics. For the time being you can listen to the archived materials and share your opinion on the sound quality and contents.
Regards,
Torsten

English_online_intro (format mp3, size 2 MB)
English_online, session, part I (format mp3, size 1,8 MB)
Time_management (format mp3, size 2 MB)

TOEIC short conversations: Two customers talk about the service and the food at a restaurant
Torsten
Learning Coach
Torsten Daerr

Joined: 25 Sep 2003
Posts: 17345
Location: EU

Audio files #2 (permalink) Fri Jun 16, 2006 11:49 am   Audio files
 

I haven't yet been able to open those audio files, Torsten. I hope I can soon fix whatever is wrong with my computer. Anyway, the project sounds quite interesting and is perhaps a necessary in this kind of sites.
Conchita
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Joined: 26 Dec 2005
Posts: 2826
Location: Madrid, Spain

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English listening materials (audio files mp3) #3 (permalink) Fri Jun 16, 2006 15:51 pm   English listening materials (audio files mp3)
 

Hi Torsten

I've finally listened to the recordings and here are a couple of comments --- basically just my initial reaction:

There are some very good tips for learning included in the content. There are lots of standard sentences, lots of basics covered. I especially liked the fact that she asked a lot of questions. You don't often hear that in language learning tapes.

The sound quality is very good and the speaker has a pleasant British voice and speaks very clearly. However, she also speaks unusually slowly (extremely slowly in the last recording!) and is often not particularly animated. On the other hand she does have a rather reassuring sort of voice.

Words that would almost always be contracted in spoken English are sometimes spoken as two words, e.g., "you are" instead of the normal "you're", "I will" instead of "I'll", "there is" instead of "there's", etc.. That makes the recordings sound very unnatural. But contractions were used sometimes. Why sometimes with and sometimes without typical contractions? A specific grammar focus in that particular unit?

In a nutshell, the recordings are clear and slow enough for a learner to be able to pick out and identify words and structures easily, but wouldn't be effective for practice in "real life" listening.

I assume the target customer here (for the extremely slow recordings) would be at an elementary level ?

By the way, in the Time management recording, she says "make a very good headway" (near the end of the recording). That tiny little word "a" bothered me (maybe more than it should have). Is the word headway really countable in British English?

Amy

PS
What sorts of voicemail messages were sent? (Voicemail was mentioned in one of the recordings)
_________________
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Yankee
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Joined: 16 Apr 2006
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Location: USA

Audio files #4 (permalink) Sat Jun 17, 2006 13:43 pm   Audio files
 

Conchita wrote:
I haven't yet been able to open those audio files, Torsten. I hope I can soon fix whatever is wrong with my computer. Anyway, the project sounds quite interesting and is perhaps a necessary in this kind of sites.

Hi Conchita, thank you for trying to open the files. If you use a PC that has a program which can replay WAV files (such as Media Player), you should be able to listen to the recordings. Let me know if it works out for you.

Regards,
Torsten

TOEIC short conversations: Giving a customer information about his bank accounts
Torsten
Learning Coach
Torsten Daerr

Joined: 25 Sep 2003
Posts: 17345
Location: EU

English language audio files #5 (permalink) Sat Jun 17, 2006 14:10 pm   English language audio files
 

Yankee wrote:
There are some very good tips for learning included in the content. There are lots of standard sentences, lots of basics covered. I especially liked the fact that she asked a lot of questions. You don't often hear that in language learning tapes.

Hi Amy, many thanks for your feedback. We did those recordings a couple of years ago before english-test.net came into being. The idea was to create an English language audio course that contained information on topics like How to set up your own language learning system? How to make to implement English into your daily activities, etc.

Yankee wrote:
The sound quality is very good and the speaker has a pleasant British voice and speaks very clearly. However, she also speaks unusually slowly (extremely slowly in the last recording!) and is often not particularly animated. On the other hand she does have a rather reassuring sort of voice.

I wrote the texts and sent them to Sue Darville who recorded them on her PC. Then she sent me the files back.

Yankee wrote:
Words that would almost always be contracted in spoken English are sometimes spoken as two words, e.g., "you are" instead of the normal "you're", "I will" instead of "I'll", "there is" instead of "there's", etc.. That makes the recordings sound very unnatural. But contractions were used sometimes. Why sometimes with and sometimes without typical contractions? A specific grammar focus in that particular unit?

I think Sue just tried to pronounced every syllable to make it easier for the listeners to understand the text. Now I realize that it's probably better to speak in a relaxed and natural manner so the recording is as authentic as possible.

Yankee wrote:
I assume the target customer here (for the extremely slow recordings) would be at an elementary level?

Yes, those files were recorded for beginners or rather so called 'false beginners'.

Yankee wrote:
By the way, in the Time management recording, she says "make a very good headway" (near the end of the recording). That tiny little word "a" bothered me (maybe more than it should have). Is the word headway really countable in British English?

I have to check the original text again, it's quite possible wrote a good headway instead of very good headway and Sue was too concentrated to notice that the a was redundant....

Yankee wrote:
What sorts of voicemail messages were sent? (Voicemail was mentioned in one of the recordings)

When we recorded the texts, we didn't have a website. That's why I had to send the audio files via email to my learners or sometimes I copied them onto a CD which I used in the classroom. I think we will upload all recordings along with the tape scripts onto our website. Then you can give us even more feedback if you like and we can start recording new files.

TOEIC short conversations: Employee asks co-worker to help him with a report on investing psychology.
Torsten
Learning Coach
Torsten Daerr

Joined: 25 Sep 2003
Posts: 17345
Location: EU

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