August 05, 2015 10:47 UTC

  • Audio Screams Have Special Place in Brain

    Screams, like those we hear in horror movies, have a special quality that separates them from other noises we make and hear. People all over the world react the same way to screams. Why is that? And why are screams important? Read on to learn some great vocabulary about sounds, screams and fear!


The Making of the U.S. Constitution

The Making of the Constitution is part of the VOA Learning English series “The Making of a Nation.” The series teaches U.S. history by telling the stories of major events and characters from the country’s founding to the present day. More

Video James Madison, Father of the Constitution

James Madison was one of the youngest and softest spoken members of the Constitutional Convention. He was certainly the shortest. But he was one of the most important founders of the U.S. government. How did he get the delegates to agree to his ideas? More

In the News

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (L) and U.S. President Barack Obama (R) talk to reporters after their meeting in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, D.C., United States Aug. 4, 2015.

Audio UN Chief Praises Obama's Climate Plan

Also in the news, Ukraine grants citizenship to the daughter of a former Russian prime minister and a well-known Russian journalist; Sec. of State Kerry welcomes progress toward Pacific nations trade deal; Pro-government forces recapture Yemeni base. More

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Learning English Videos

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Cancer May Result from Mixtures of "Harmless" Chemicalsi
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08/04/2015
When we are told that chemicals are safe to use on our bodies or in and around our homes, we believe they are just that -- safe. Could a mixture of “safe” chemicals cause cancer? A group of scientists was told to answer that question.
Video

Video Cancer May Result from Mixtures of "Harmless" Chemicals

When we are told that chemicals are safe to use on our bodies or in and around our homes, we believe they are just that -- safe. Could a mixture of “safe” chemicals cause cancer? A group of scientists was told to answer that question.
Video

Video Fish Use Whole Bodies When They Eat

Fish are vertebrates – animals that have a backbone and a spine. They have gills that enable them to take oxygen from the water. But have you ever wonder how vertebrates eat food? Now researchers at Brown University have x-ray video that shows the action.
Video

Video Warning System Keeps Swimmers Out of Polluted Water

Researchers are using computer models to predict the quality of ocean water. It now takes 18 to 24 hours for a laboratory to test the water. Public health experts say that amount of time can and should be reduced.
Video

Video English in a Minute: Fifth Wheel

Have you ever felt like a "fifth wheel?" Found out what this expression means in this episode of English in a Minute!
Video

Video News Words: Infrastructure

Infrastructure is a word that can mean a lot of things including roads, bridges and power plants. Our hosts tell you about it after you have heard the word used in a video news story.
Video

Video TALK2US: Phrasal Verbs About Sports and Activities

Caty and Ashley talk about "getting into" cycling and "trying out for" a team. You can get a good language "work out" by watching their video.
Video

Video China Fights Stock Market Drop

The government has tried a number of measures to help support stock prices, which have fallen sharply on Chinese exchanges in the past three weeks. China’s Securities Regulatory Commission blames the losses partly on a “panic sentiment” and “irrational selling.”
Video

Video Affirmative Action Case Returns to the Supreme Court

Are college admissions policies unfair to whites and Asian-Americans?
Video

Video Growing Minds Need Greener Spaces

Does being in and around nature help children learn? That is the question researchers around the world want to answer. Two recent studies seem to show a connection between more green spaces and better test scores.
Video

Video Israel Helps California Deal with Water Shortages

The U.S. state has been suffering from severe drought for the past four years. Israel has dealt with water shortages for many years. It says California must learn to treat water as a resource -- like natural gas and oil.
Video

Video One-Person Flying Vehicles Close to Reality

Two companies are testing flying machines that can carry one person. The designs are very different. But the result is the same: a personal flying machine.
Video

Video English in a Minute: Jazz it Up

Jazz is a type of music that started in the United States. But what does it mean to jazz something up? Find out in this episode of English in a Minute!
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Video News Words: Gridlock

What is Gridlock? It is a word you often hear in the news. Listen to the word used in a news story and our hosts will tell you about its meaning.
Video

Video Experts: China May be Facing Economic Problems

The International Monetary Fund predicts China’s economy will grow at a rate of under six percent for the next several years. One expert told Congress that China will stagnate unless new reforms are undertaken.
Video

Video Bringing the Internet Closer Helps Students

A new project aims to provide millions of off-line digital documents to students, medical workers and researchers in Nigeria.

World

Thai military and volunteers work to repair a leak in a dike on the canal in On Nut, Bangkok. The flooding was 300 meters away from Bangkok's main thoroughfare Sukhumvit, October 31, 2011. (VOA)

Video Bangkok Could Soon Be Underwater

The Italian city of Venice and the American city of New Orleans, Louisiana are slowly sinking. So is Bangkok, home to about 10 million people. Officials in the city and scientists say they do not know how long people will be able to continue living in the Thai capital. More

Business & Economics

Audio Another Sharp Drop on China’s Stock Exchanges

China’s Shanghai Composite index dropped 8.5 percent on Monday: the largest single-day drop in eight years. The price drop comes after weeks of efforts by the government to support prices. One expert says these efforts will not work as some investors reduce their investment borrowings. More

Health & Lifestyle

A health worker prepares to inject a man with an Ebola vaccine in Conakry, Guinea, March 7, 2015.

Audio ‘Highly Effective’ Ebola Vaccine Developed in Guinea

Researchers say they have developed a vaccine that highly effective at preventing the disease Ebola. The World Health Organization says the vaccine has so far been 100 percent effective in tests in Guinea. Norway’s foreign minister called it “the silver bullet." More

Entertainment

Audio Folk to Rock: When Dylan Went Electric

Fifty years ago, folk music legend Bob Dylan rocked out at the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island on an electric guitar. He was widely booed. The audience may have been unhappy with Dylan’s performance that day, but it changed the direction of music and culture in the United States. More

America

Audio What’s in a Name?

The big news comes … you are going to have a baby! Now the work begins – the work of picking the perfect name for your bouncy baby boy or girl. In the US, some parents stick to traditional family names. Some are inspired by pop culture. And others pick qualities they hope their child to have. More

Science & Technology

Video Simulation Helps Control, Manage Traffic

Controlling traffic is a complex and high cost problem in many developed countries. It becomes more difficult and costly with the ever-increasing number of cars on the roads. But scientists and students at CATT at the University of Maryland are working to solve that problem. More

Education

A shot from student documentary 'I, too, Am BCC'

Video US Student Filmmakers Fight Racial Stereotypes

Three high school students in Maryland explore the problems that can result from having beliefs about people based only on their race. The film project is based on minority students talking about their thoughts and experiences. The producers show the film in classrooms and hold discussions after. More

History

Video James Madison, Father of the Constitution

James Madison was one of the youngest and softest spoken members of the Constitutional Convention. He was certainly the shortest. But he was one of the most important founders of the U.S. government. How did he get the delegates to agree to his ideas? More

The Day in Photos

Palestinians and Israelis bathe in a natural spring in Ein Fawwar, near the West Bank city of Jericho, on August 3, 2015, as temperatures in the Jordan valley reached 48 degrees Celsius (118.4 F).

Palestinians and Israelis bathe in a natural spring in Ein Fawwar, near the West Bank city of Jericho, on August 3, 2015, as temperatures in the Jordan valley reached 48 degrees Celsius (118.4 F).

Word of the Day

Question image

Weather (noun)

Talk2US

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TALK2US: Phrasal Verbs About Sports and Activitiesi
X
07/30/2015
Caty and Ashley talk about "getting into" cycling and "trying out for" a team. You can get a good language "work out" by watching their video.

SCHEDULE for TALK2US

Monday, Aug 3, 1900 UTC: Jonathan Evans hosts.

Wednesday, Aug 4, 1700 UTC: Dr. Jill Robbins hosts.

Thursday, Aug 6, 1500 UTC: Anna Matteo and Marsha James host.

Friday, Aug 7, 1700 UTC: Caty Weaver and Ashley Thompson host

 

To participate, send a Skype contact request to VOALearningEnglish